Comcast's Roberts Meets With Commissioners To Urge Deal Approval
Chairman had meetings with reps of three commissioners most likely to vote in favor of merger
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 1/10/2011 11:53:29 AM
According to an ex parte filing, Roberts on Jan. 6 met with the two Republican Commissioners, Robert McDowell and Meredith Attwell Baker, as well as Ed Lazarus, chief of staff to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, to urge the FCC to approve the merger.
On the same day, Kathy Zachem , Comcast VP, regulatory and state affairs, met with a top media advisor to FCC Commissioner Michael Copps. Copps is a veteran media consolidation critic who continues to have issues with the deal, according to an aide, including with its impact on small cable operators, local news and online access conditions.
The FCC's transaction team has proposed conditions meant to address those, but Copps is looking for something stronger than Comcast's voluntary efforts, according to an aide. Zachem pitched those public promises to Copps' office last week, including its recent promises to boost broadband deployment and community news, as well as an earlier commitment to add 10 new independent channels.
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has already circulated a draft approval that Comcast has signaled it could live with, while the two Republicans will almost surely approve the deal, thought they could dissent on some of the conditions, particularly a network neutrality condition in the draft said to be stronger than the new FCC rules from which McDowell and Baker strongly dissented.
The commissioners continue to vet the draft, according aides.
John Eggerton's coverage of the Comcast / NBCU transaction is spot on. Broadcasting and Cable is an important voice for those of us in the broadcasting industry and I wish the urgency of ths COMCAST / NBCU transaction happening sooner as opposed to later could be noted to the respected FCC Chair.
Many companies in the United States employing many thousands of employees are all waiting for this transaction to take place before they hire new executives and make financial obligations to new projects. This merger will create jobs.
As a broadcasting executive search firm our firm is aware of broadcasting executives who are now very close to losing their jobs because the transaction has taken so long.
I know that many members of the FCC Board read Broadcasting & Cable. I hope they take into consideration how many people and companies have waited so long for this positive transaction to take place.
Filcro Media Staffing
Tony Filson - 1/11/2011 4:37:45 PM EST
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