Thursday, August 9, 2007

FCC brings media ownership debate to Chicago

A public hearing with FCC commissioners scheduled for Sept. 20 will give the public an opportunity to weigh in on media consolidation and changes being considered under the FCC media ownership rules.

In a release today from Free

In Chicago, the cross-ownership rules have taken center stage as the FCC considers whether to allow Sam Zell, the new owner of the Tribune Co., to hold onto the Chicago Tribune as well as WGN-TV and WGN-AM. When the cross-ownership ban was instituted in 1975, the FCC "grandfathered" the Tribune's ownership of these outlets.

"It's time for the FCC to stop pretending that media conglomerates like the Tribune Co. are local businesses that serve local communities," said Linda K. Foley, president of The Newspaper Guild-CWA. "In this age of media consolidation, the FCC should not only continue its rule banning cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in the same market, the commissioners should reconsider the multiple waivers of the ban granted Tribune Co. over the years."
Among the local and national groups urging its members to attend are Broadcast Engineers Union I.B.E.W Local 1212, Communications Workers of America and The Newspaper Guild-CWA*.

*The Guild represents employees at the Chicago Sun-Times.

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