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Harvard Network, Radio Radcliffe Put Off Airwaves by FCC Measure

WHRB Radiation Output Tops Limit; Perhaps More College Stations Operating Illegally


Station WHRB, the Harvard Radio Network, went off the air for an indefinite period starting at 12 midnight Saturday, by order of the Federal Communications Commission.

Radio Radcliffe, subject to the same restriction, will cease broadcasting too, but the business school's station has been left alone.

Network president Bradford S. Doane '50 announced the FCC ruling that "the station's signals are greatly in excess of those provided by the regulations of the Commission," and terminated broadcasting by extending the station's listeners "a temporary goodbye."

The FCC complaint was two-fold:

First, under a Commission decision of last spring, officials have been investigating the extent of radiation leakage from the coaxial cable systems currently in use in college radio.

20 Times Too Much

In two investigations' conducted this fall, the radiation output of WHRB was found to be, at maximum points, 20 times as strong as regulations require. According to Doane and Network technical director George H. Nealy '51, cutting down to present FCC standards would virtually nullify the reception of the station. WHRB officials sent a proposal for an alternative arrangement permitting more power to the Commission last spring, but have received no reply.

The second complaint is that WHRB has been interfering with standard radio reception. There was one complaint early this fall, according to Doane, that the station was interfering with a Lowell House radio's reception of WHDH. The difficulty was quickly ironed out, Doane, said, and no complaint was received from WHDH technicians.

Boston Stations Don't Mind

Network officials received letters last spring from WHDH and two other Boston stations stating that the professional networks had investigated and found no possibility for interference.

"All the college stations with which I am familiar," Doane disclosed yesterday afternoon, "are, under FCC regulations, broadcasting illegally. Unfortunately, WHRB was one of the first investigated and is, as far as I know, the first one the Commission has clamped down on."

(Calls last night to Yale and Brown revealed that there had been no investigation "either directly or indirectly" at Yale, and that the Brown station had received a routine check last spring and met its radiation requirements.)

In a letter yesterday to Wayne Coy, chairman of the ECC, Doane said: "... our station, being entirely self-supporting, stands to suffer greatly if we are forced to wall until new regulations are enacted. Loss of advertising revenue to a non-profit station like WHRB would be financially disastrous. Furthermore, our listeners would suffer the less of programs given in conjunction with college courses."

The alternatives offered, according to Doane, are 1) to make a stab at broadcasting within FCC requirements, 2) to wait for the April hearings, 3) to hope for an extension, or 4) to become a commercial station, requiring an impossible outlay of money.

At present the Network directors say they will launch an extensive testing campaign, and rely, for financial support, on the making of recordings and the rental of public address systems

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