President's Message | February 17, 2020

ACM West Conference this week

I hope to see you in Monterey, CA this week at the ACM West Conference. The schedule looks impressive and I’ll be speaking Wednesday morning about Federal and State public policy challenges for our members.  

If you can’t make it to ACM West, be sure to join Erica Jones and an impressive group of panelists for our webinar on journalism collaborations on Wednesday at 3pm ET.  There’s still time to register here.

Protecting Community Television Act

We’re about a month into the campaign for co-sponsors for the Protecting Community Television Act (HR 5659/S 3218) – the bills authored by Rep. Anna Eshoo and Sen. Ed Markey that would fix the mess the FCC created with its “In-Kind” Order this past fall.  The bills specify Congress’ intent that franchise fees are monetary – and stop the FCC from redefining fees to drive down community support from franchises across the country.  

There are now 16 Senate co-sponsors after Minority Leader Charles Schumer signed on this past week, and 31 co-sponsors in the House. That’s a great start, but we need to hear from your Congressmembers in the coming weeks.

Ask your Senator or House member to co-sponsor the bill – and thank them when they do. I was just at a community forum in Silver Spring, MD and thanked my congressmember Jamie Raskin for his support.  That contact with Congress is necessary for our continued success.

If you need materials to help with the effort, let me know via email at and be sure to promote our online petition to your members, volunteers and viewers – here’s the link.

 New Hampshire Election Media

The national media left New Hampshire last week after the primary there was over Tuesday night.  I’m fond of saying that the best media remains in communities there (folks like all our members in the New Hampshire Coalition for Community Media). Here’s a nice profile of one of the folks who make community media work in New Hampshire – take a few minutes to get to know Emmett Collins in Concord, NH.

I think it will make your day…

Mike Wassenaar
President & CEO
The Alliance for Community Media