Hannah Sassaman — Banned from the National Association of Broadcasters Since 2002

Sour Grapes from the National Association of Broadcasters
February 23, 2007, 10:12 am
Filed under: fcc, rants

Dennis Wharton and other staffers at my favorite organization, the National Association of Broadcasters, are asking the Federal Communications Commission to make sure that the comments they hear at their current round of official ownership hearings are “verifyably local“. They want all attendees of these rare and valuable hearings to identify what city and state they are from before they offer their two minutes of testimony before the FCC.

As I get ready to run out the door to listen to communities from all across Pennsylvania offer their evidence that consolidation hurts our cities and towns in Harrisburg, the one thing I can think is — bring it on. I think the FCC would be pretty impressed to hear how many people drove, flew, or hitchiked in to give two minutes of testimony to a team of regulators sitting on a high stage at the front of the room. And, I must correct you, Mr. Wharton:

“I was at the Nashville media ownership hearing and there were people from St. Louis and Cincinnati complaining about local media,” said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton. “That suggests to us that there is something curious about these so-called localism hearings.”

These aren’t the localism hearings — Chairman Powell started to organize those, and fell off around the same time as his Commission started researching the drastic decline in diverse raido station ownership. These are official hearings meant to impact Docket 06-121 — also known as the Quadrennial Review of the Media Ownership Rules . Whether you are from Honolulu or Harrisburg, the facts and anecdotes you offer from your life and your local community are the pieces the FCC is obligated to consider when they decide whether or not to deregulate the media. Every story is valid. If the FCC wants to organize a hearing in Honolulu, I am sure we’ll hear more about the local market there, but I am also sure that NAB suits and other industry lawyers will fly in to listen, monitor, and pat their consolidated members on the back before they fly home.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

exactly! these are PUBLIC hearings. it is a national issue. not just a harrisburg issue. and all americans are allowed and need to comment. i put out emails asking anyone from the East Coast to try and come and be heard in HBG! i hope plenty of people show up at the next 3 Public Hearings.

dave j (harrisburger)

Comment by dave

Yes, it is amazing what the industry is doing to stifle discussion. Be sure to spread the word that others in the midwest and comment at an unofficial hearing in Columbus Ohio on March 7th. McDowell is expected to join Adelstein and Copps! A swing vote?

I do credit at least one NAB employee for attempting to engage in dialogue. He commented on one of my blog posts announcing the hearing. The sad thing is that a Technorati search on “FCC, Harrisburg” that I just did yielded very few blog posts on the hearing. We have got to generate some buzz. Promoting these events and framing the issues is entirely in our hands.

Comment by Rich

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