Monday, March 21, 2016

A "Thank You" note sent to a Government agency today...

Sounds strange, doesn't it!

I did the unusual today.

I wrote the FCC. Yes, the Federal Communications Commission.   No, not the "corporate" FCC you know, but one particular commissioner,  Commissioner Ajit Pai.  He has been instrumental in pushing for improvements in how AM radio stations are allowed to cover their cities of license (in our case, Ionia) and, after reading many, many comments filed in FCC Proceeding number 13-249, I felt it necessary to write.  (As you know, we, and many other stations and individuals filed our comments via the FCC's public submission website.)  The outcome of public comments is yet to be decided by the commission.

The letter was a thank you for his effort to assist AM stations.  Much of this effort was spearheaded by the station we affectionately call our "sister 1430" WRDN in Durand, Wisconsin.  They've had similar battles in bringing back a "dark" (off-air) station for their small town,  serving a similar small town to our own Ionia, climbing the ladder of awareness, marketing, and acceptance.

Before writing, I needed to know how to get my message efficiently to the Commissioner.  So, I called the FCC, not knowing who I would speak with or how crazy they may think my request to assure my e-mail would not go into the Commissioner's spam folder would be viewed.   I was treated with the utmost courtesy by an FCC operator who took my request for how to properly reach the Commissioner, and within an hour or so, contact was made, back personally from the Commissioner's assistant, and the letter quickly exchanged, saving me sending a physical copy.  It should also be noted that the very kind lady to whom I was referred told me as we worked through my request that she has been at the FCC for forty years!  Can you imagine that? She's gone from sending telegrams among offices and radio & TV stations to utilizing the internet, she's seen the ability to take public comments instantly via the web, and so many developments!  If only we all could have this kind of polite service in all our dealings with the government and in our dealings with what I (not-so at times) affectionately refer to as "Corporate America."

I felt it my duty to assure Commissioner Pai there are small radio stations in markets like Ionia that are successful thanks to you, our listeners,  advertisers, and from the hard work of the owners. It's no secret that the "I-1430" you enjoy today is widely different from any WION you've known in the past, and it took years of faith in hard work to supply you with the services we are now proud to provide!

So today, hats-off, and a thankful note to two individuals at the FCC. One who is on the front line of communication with the public and the media, with 40 years of,  no doubt, polite communications with everyone from Joe America to "big" radio or TV operator,  and the other, a man who I believe has the best interest of the continued growth of stations like WION in mind as the FCC discusses all the public comments.

Some may say a thank you note of this type could be considered a request for special treatment. On the contrary. We asked for nothing except to have the letter read, and to offer WION as a small market success story. I simply felt that if I am quick to condemn big government decisions at times, I should also be quick to compliment those people who's efforts to improve business on my behalf or that of my company should be recognized.  

...And, saying "thank you" to anyone who does something nice just has a calming, pleasant effect on this Monday. Or ...any day.  I hope someday to introduce Commissioner Pai to you, our listeners via phone. I think you'd find him an interesting person and advocate of stations like WION.

Thank YOU for reading....Even that one felt great!


1 comment:

  1. That put a smile on my face and perhaps restored a bit of confidence in the Federal Communications Commission.
    Great Job.