Back in the Clinton years, FCC commissioner Michael Powell voted against a plan to let community groups establish their own low-power radio stations. Three years later, elevated to chairman and faced with an uproar over his agency's new ownership rules, he's starting to recognize such stations as an easy way to increase localism in the media. Starting next month, he declared yesterday, he intends to speed the approval of low-power licenses.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is embracing unlicensed low-power radio. Earlier this week, it voted unanimously to condemn the FCC's efforts to shut down the venerable outlaw San Francisco Liberation Radio.