President's Message | May 18, 2020

2020 Annual Conference Update

After a lot of discussion and deliberation, the Alliance for Community Media and our Foundation decided to cancel our National Conference which was set for Chicago this summer.  We will return to Chicago in a future year.

The health considerations for our attendees, exhibitors and staff were too great, and emergency conditions at home have made it impractical or impossible to travel for most of our attendees.
It’s disappointing because the Conference is a highlight of the year for many of us. It’s the place where we get new ideas, meet new colleagues and reconnect with friends in our field.

The life of the Alliance will go on.  We’ll be announcing national awards associated with the Conference in coming weeks – and we’ll be rolling out Stay at Home workshops you and your organization can take advantage of in the months ahead for professional and technical skill building along with expanded demonstrations by our exhibitors and sponsors.

What’s important to me in all this is you know ACM cares about our members and the communities we serve. We’ll be together in future days.  In the meantime, I hope to be seeing you.


The Alliance & Local Government Filed Suite against the FCC

The Alliance and our allies in local government filed suit against the FCC Friday challenging the legality of its Third Order and Report on Cable Franchising (the so-called “In-Kind” Order filed August 2019).

The heart of the suit demonstrates how the FCC usurped the role of Congress by rewriting the Cable Act’s “franchise fee” definition and taking away the role Congress gave to local communities when it said in law that communities could determine local community cable-related needs and interests.

The FCC’s action also would cut local governments’ fee revenue by millions of dollars just as those governments are simultaneously suffering huge budget shortfalls due to the corona-virus crisis.
Here’s a copy of our filing, along with the filing of other colleagues in local government. 
The case in the 6th US Circuit Court will continue through the year – we’ll keep you updated as the arguments continue.


Reopening Plan 

What are your plans for re-opening after Covid-19 closures?  Some communities remain closed for a protracted period of time, while others are beginning to contemplate resumption of activities following Stay at Home orders.  We’ll talk with stations around the country on Thursday, May 21 at 4 pm ET about re-opening.

Join us with your plans, your questions and your concerns.  We want to hear from you.  The Zoom call information is

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 858 1608 1313
Password: 244823

US Postal Service & Media Maker Spaces 
Finally, amid the debate over funding the US Postal Service, Victor Pickard of the Annenberg School in Philadelphia has put forward a provocative idea:  Save post offices around the country – and convert them into community media maker spaces. Read article here.   

Here’s to a great week!

Mike Wassenaar

President & CEO
The Alliance for Community Media