Free Press: FCC Hearing Shuts Out the Public

OCTOBER 24, 2007
8:21 PM

CONTACT: Free Press
Jen Howard, Free Press, (703) 517-6273

FCC Hearing Shuts Out the Public In Rush For More Media Consolidation, Chairman Martin Neglects The Public and Ignores Congress

WASHINGTON - October 24 - Late Wednesday night, the Federal Communications Commission announced that its next hearing on localism will be on Oct. 31 at FCC headquarters in Washington, D.C. The hearing’s belated announcement — just five business days before the event — follows reports that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is rushing to eliminate longstanding media ownership limits before the end of the year.

Free Press Executive Director Josh Silver issued the following statement:

“How can you have a hearing on localism without giving the local community time to find out it is happening? Chairman Martin’s actions suggest that he’s never been serious about paying attention to the public. He’s already made up his mind, and is hell-bent on gutting the rules.

“This is a slap in the face to the vast majority of Americans who oppose consolidation and a direct insult to the bipartisan members of Congress who have called for a fair and transparent public process. The chairman is ignoring the undeniable evidence that media consolidation has a devastating impact on local news and diversity.

“It feels like deja vu all over again. Chairman Martin is repeating the same mistakes that ignited a firestorm of opposition four years ago. He may not want to listen to the countless Americans who are sick and tired of a broken media system — but they will be heard.”

FCC Public Notice:

Joint statement from FCC Commissioners Adelstein and Copps: