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Ear to the Ground

FCC Mulls Rule Changes

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Posted on Oct 24, 2006
Networks
Illustration by Peter Scheer

The FCC is considering whether to end a ban on mergers between the major networks.

The FCC is considering rule changes that would enable further media consolidation, but several new studies submitted to the regulatory body say limited media ownership has resulted in bland content and a power structure that favors white men.


San Francisco Chronicle:

FCC spokesman David Fiske said the studies and commentary would be “read and placed in the public record,” but declined to comment specifically on the findings of any of the studies from media watchdog, nonpartisan and interest groups. They submitted studies to meet Monday’s deadline for input on the proposed rule changes. The deadline for the public to respond to this first round of comments is Dec. 21.

The commission has set no timetable about when it will vote on any changes, Fiske said.

Over the next several months, however, the commission will ask the public what it thinks of several rules governing how many television and radio stations an entity can own in one market; the commission’s limitations on owning a full-service broadcast station and a newspaper in the same market; and its regulations on radio and television station cross-ownership. The commission will also ask the public whether it should retain its ban on mergers between the top four broadcast networks.

In 2003, the commission voted to make it easier for a single company to own a radio station, newspaper and TV station in the same region. In a rare bipartisan showing, both the House and the Senate voted to oppose the FCC’s decision, and hundreds of thousands of people contacted the commission to complain.

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By Wahoo The Druid, February 6, 2007 at 5:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why do we allow the FCC to monitor and censor programming on PAY TV???? We pay for cable/direct tv. etc. so why should the government tell us what we can watch? There are still free channels available for those who wish it. Let the FCC monitor the channels that one can get with an antennae.

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By bill stinks, October 27, 2006 at 7:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Can we get rid of the FCC?  They serve no purpose to the American public. And while they kiss various body parts of those who run large corporations, they barely tolerate the general public and their opinions.  Who pays this bunch?

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By David, October 24, 2006 at 8:47 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Power structure that favors white men? This is the least of our problems!!!

We’re dealing with a power structure owned and operated by military contractors and corporations known for they’re undying love of Congress and the president.

No doubt the talking heads will avoid this issue if at all possible, and the sheep will continue watching Survivor while pretending they are safer because of blatant censorship by the “liberal media”, and a government who lies to them.

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By kevin99999, October 24, 2006 at 6:30 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The FCC and other governmental institutions are owned by the corporations. Did you expect FCC to act otherwise? Yeah folks, this is called democracy but only by the naive and gullibles.

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By Erika, October 24, 2006 at 5:07 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Why does the FCC bother to pretend to listen to the public.  We all (or at least should)know that it doesn’t give a damn what the public thinks.  This whole set of hearings is just going to make the inevitable slap in the face that’s coming sting even worse…

Whewwww, synicism is hard to take so early in the morning. 

EMattila

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