FCC Plans Third Ownership Hearing

Feb 8, 2007  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission is unveiling plans to hold its third media ownership hearing in Harrisburg, Penn., Feb. 23 in what is an apparent attempt to add issues from smaller markets to the discussion.

The FCC held its first ownership hearing in Los Angeles last year and earlier held one in Nashville, with each hearing focused on some issues unique to those areas. The Los Angeles hearing included a discussion of the impacts on program ownership and Nashville the impact on music choices.

While much of the attention on changes in media ownership has focused on big media markets, broadcasters and newspaper owners in smaller cities, citing increased cost pressures, have urged the FCC to ease rules for consolidation. Meanwhile some legislators and consumer groups have complained that some of the changes that took place when radio consolidation was allowed would portend major problems if more TV consolidation was allowed.

The Harrisburg hearing will be the third of six that are planned. The FCC is also planning to hold two hearings on localism issues before making any recommendations on ownership changes.

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