A front-page report in The New York Times (“Plan Would Ease Limits on Media Owners,” Oct. 18) revealed that the FCC is moving forward with a secret timeline to vote on sweeping changes to media-ownership rules. This is just the most recent in a long series of FCC moves to avoid public scrutiny.
I was at the FCC hearing in June of 2006 here in Asheville, sponsored in part by WPVM [and attended by FCC] Commissioners Copps and Adelstein. It was the first of many town-hall hearings across America. Of the standing-room-only crowd, none supported more media consolidation, with [the] exception of the media owners.
Consolidation of the media will eventually do away with (and mostly already has) real reporting!
I urge your readers to call Sens. Dole and Burr and Rep. Schuler. Tell them you want them to call for congressional-oversight hearings on media ownership. Media is a life-and-death issue for you, me and our global community, and the FCC has not done enough to study the impact that more consolidation would have on diversity, localism and competition.
If they are true representatives of this country—of me, of you and all American ideals—then they will not support Kevin Martin and his bid to rewrite FCC rules.
Contact Sen. Elizabeth Dole, 555 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 (telephone 202-224-6342); Sen. Richard Burr, 217 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington DC 20510 (telephone 202-224-3154); Rep. Heath Schuler, 356 Biltmore Ave., Suite 400, Asheville, NC 28801 (telephone 252-1651).
— Steven Howard