Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Wednesday, June 18, 2003  

Everyone's writing good stuff on the FCC issue, and here's someone else, from the local paper.

Senate Bill 1046, introduced in the commerce committee by Sens. Fritz Hollings, D-S.C., and Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, seeks to restore the limits on station ownership and may also bring back the rule against cross-ownership. The committee will vote on the bill Thursday morning, and if they approve it for a floor vote as expected, the entire Senate will vote on the issue. And, almost certainly, pass it by a wide margin, moving it along to the House of Representatives.

Where, according to Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., the bill will almost certainly die. [But] Walden isn't sure this is a bad idea. He's says he's not crazy about all of the new revisions in the FCC rules -- particularly the easing of ownership restrictions -- but as the owner of five radio stations in Hood River and The Dalles, he is more than sympathetic to the need for economies of scale.

"Some level of consolidation is necessary," Walden said in a telephone interview. "If you're artificially prevented from doing that, you risk taking a lot of broadcast properties underwater."

But there's a big distinction between Columbia Gorge Broadcasters, the 17-employee company Walden operates with his wife, Mylene, and the small handful of multinational conglomerates that could end up with a near-monopoly on the nation's TV airwaves.

That was a slightly-edited article by Peter Ames Carlin. The distinction, as you well know, is that Fox might well squeeze Walden off the air, but Walden damn sure's not squeezing Fox. Carlin urges Oregonians to bomb Senator Gordon Smith, who's still waflling on the issue, with phone calls. That number, for Oregonians, is 202-224-3753 (or visit his website for a local number). Or, you could also call Billy Tauzin, who's been bought off by big media, and isn't likely to allow the bill to be introduced to the House. His number is: 202-225-4031.

Lisa at Ruminate This is your one-stop clearinghouse for news on the number of ways you can try to influence the process. (I encourage you to avail yourself of them all.)

posted by Jeff | 9:07 AM |
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