FCC Commissioners Slate Dec. 9 Field Hearing on Consolidation

Oct 28, 2004  •  Post A Comment

Stirring the pot anew on media concentration, the Federal Communications Commission’s two Democrats-Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein-on Thursday announced that they are planning to preside at a field hearing on industry consolidation on Dec. 9 at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minn.

In a statement, the Democrats said they wanted to provide a forum to sound out what the public feels the agency should do about its media ownership regulations in the wake of last June’s decision by a federal appeals court overturning deregulation by the FCC’s GOP majority. “We have now heard from the court, the Congress and the American people that the commission got it wrong when it tried to unleash further consolidation of our local media,” the two Democrats said in a joint statement.

“The commission now has a second chance to do the right thing. Field hearings will serve as a critical first step in laying the foundation for media ownership rules that serve the public interest.”

A spokesman for Mr. Powell said, “The chairman applauds his colleagues for their efforts to seek the public’s input to our broadcast ownership rules.”

An agency source said the two Democrats decided to launch the new series of road trips on their own initiative. A similar series of road trips promoted by Mr. Copps was credited for spurring a firestorm of protest about FCC deregulation from the public and on Capitol Hill.