DJ Johnny Silver Answers

I’ve posted twice about DJ Johnny Silver, who is operating unlicensed Iron Action Radio in Nyack, NY, and recently received some publicity in his local newspaper. In my posts I expressed concern about unlicensed operators pursuing widepublicity, given that it increases the risk of a bust.

Silver read my posts and sent me a thoughtful e-mail. He also posted a response to his blog, saying:

well I can tell you tonight I thought a lot about the purpose of this station and the risks I am taking, is it worth the fight, Yes..The goal here is not to be clandestine, and secret, but its to have the station be a focal point for the community of nyack, something this community does not have or will not have, based on the FCC frequency regulations.

Without being in Nyack to hear the station, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s up, but it seems like Iron Action has taken on more DJs. Silver also told me that he’s used wireless to separate his studio and transmitter, which is a very smart move.

I want to be clear that I’m not criticizing Iron Action Radio or Johnny Silver. I think it’s great if the station can become a valuable community resource, and it’s laudable to attempt to create such a resource.

Simply, I hate to see an unlicensed broadcaster take any unnecessary risks. In the recent past, when the FCC does strike, it has been striking hard. Even a very strategic operation that eluded the FCC for five years can still get busted, as happened to Boulder Free Radio a couple weeks ago. Unfortunately, it looks like KBFR and Monk may be in for a big fight with the FCC.

As I said before, if you’re going to broadcast a pirate station out in the open, then community support is your best protection. It still won’t stop the FCC from busting you. But it raises the stakes and forces the Commission into looking like the bad guys beating up on the little guy who just wants to bring something better to his community’s airwaves.