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Mar 21, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Lawmakers Plea to FCC

Three Republican senators have asked the Federal Communications Commission to seek another round of comment before taking any action on pending proposals to relax or ax the agency’s media ownership rules. FCC Chairman Michael Powell, a Republican, has announced his intention to act on the regulations by May.

Accepting the advice of the lawmakers could delay resolution of the issue for months. But in a March 19 letter to the FCC, the lawmakers-Sens. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, Republicans from Maine-said Congress and the public needed to have a “full opportunity to review and comment on any specific changes the commission intends to make in this proceeding before such rules are issued in final form.” In a March 21 letter to the FCC, Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., urged the FCC to bring the proceeding to a close. “It is time for the commission to create regulatory certainty for this important market segment,” Sen. Brownback said.

NABET-CWA and ABC Extend Contract Deadline: The National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America and ABC agreed to extend through midnight, May 12, their master agreement that covers more than 2,500 ABC employees nationwide and was to expire March 31. Negotiations will resume the week of April 28. The extension includes a provision for full wage-increase retroactivity.

NBC Wins Thursday: With war coverage dominating ABC’s and Fox’s prime-time lineups Thursday night, NBC won the night in adults 18 to 49 and total viewers with its regularly scheduled sitcom block from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. and a special Dateline from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. NBC scored a 6.3 rating and 16 share for the night in adults 18 to 49 and 13.7 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research fast affiliate data. That was a sizable lead over second-place ABC, which aired war coverage, with a 3.9/10 in the demo and 10.8 million viewers.

CBS, which aired the NCAA men’s basketball tournament after moving games to ESPN during the day, was in third place with a 3.0/7 in the demo and 7.9 million viewers. Fox, which pre-empted The Pulse and a Married By America repeat, came in fourth with a 2.2/5 in the demo and 5.4 million viewers for the night.