Friday, September 21, 2007

FCC chief tips his hand to Tribune and Big Media *

Chairman Kevin Martin met privately with Tribune's editorial board yesterday prior to the FCC public hearing in Chicago. Timothy Karr wrote on Huffington Post:

Martin reportedly told his private Tribune audience that that he wants to relieve the strain placed on newspapers by the digital marketplace for news -- a claim that has been soundly disputed by a recent Free Press study on Chicago news diversity.

"Many of the properties that Tribune owns date back to that original cross-ownership here in Chicago," he said, referring to the company's many local holdings -- including the Chicago Tribune newspaper and TV stations WGN-AM 720 and WGN-Ch. 9 -- which were exempted from the 1975 cross-ownership ban."

– [snip, snip] –

If Martin's FCC proceeds in lifting cross-ownership, the Tribune or any other single company could own the main daily newspaper, eight radio stations, three television stations and a major cable provider in the same town.
Read Tribune media columnist Phil Rosenthal here.

Another viewpoint: Tribune's Truthiness: Blame the Internet

"Wherever you go, from Los Angeles to Nashville, Tampa to Chicago, there's no mistaking what the public thinks about media consolidation," said Yolanda Hippensteele, outreach director of Free Press. "They think it has gone too far at the expense of too many. And they want more local voices, more choices, and a media that actually represents their communities. The question is whether the FCC is listening."

Union leaders, industry representatives, community activists and academic experts were among the 800+ people who waited for hours to testify in front of the five FCC commissioners about the negative impacts of media consolidation.

ALSO: A Night At The (FCC) Opera -- Tribune At Center Stage E&P

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