Digital Switch Puts FCC Bosses on Air

Jul 7, 2008  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission is bringing in the big names to tout the digital TV transition: The FCC commissioners themselves.
Amid criticism that the government and the FCC is relying too much on private industry to get out the word of the digital transition, FCC commissioners including Chairman Kevin Martin are set to be featured in a new public service effort being readied by the agency. The new public service messages will be sent to TV stations to air.
“The chairman and commissioners truly understand the issues related to the DTV transition, and certainly have the expertise to help promote important factors related to the digital switch,” an FCC spokesman said.
Up to now most of the messages about the digital transition have come from broadcasters, TV networks, and cable and satellite companies rather than the government, which is making billions in fees from auctioning off airwaves freed up by the transition. Broadcasters have been stepping up the number of those messages.
The FCC has asked to spend up to $32 million in the fiscal year that begins in October on an ad campaign promoting the DTV transition. That request has drawn some concerns from Congress, the General Accountability Office and public policy groups that fear that agency may be waiting too long and not doing enough. The latest expression of concern came on Monday from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Broadcasters said the FCC public service messages will add to the arsenal of messages that stations can air.
“The more than doubling of DTV consumer awareness that we have seen over the last year is driven by television stations’ heavy airing of DTV action spots—including station-produced spots and the carefully designed and messaged NAB spots,” said Jonathan Collegio, VP-digital television transition for the National Association of Broadcasters.
“With the addition of FCC spots, stations will have an even larger menu of options available for reaching viewers about DTV,” he said.


  1. Why should broadcasters promote an office-seeking politician like Martin? He has been one of the worst FCC heads ever. Let’s get some TV stars or network news personalities to send this message not this political puppet.

  2. PLEASE! Lil’ Kev is an appointee. The American voter had no say in his occupying his post at the FCC. Let the voters in North Carolina see his Harry Poter looking mug on their new digital signal broadcast feeds. If they plan on going through with this campaign, we – the public – can do something about it – and we must! Email the advertisers, networks, and broadcasters on those channels running the spots and stop the madness. We did it to stop OJ’s book from being published. We can do it again to spare us the world embarrassment of putting parasitic, appointed – ne’er do wells on screen and over our public airwaves.

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