Washington

FCC Schedules Seattle Ownership Hearing

Final Hearing on Media-Ownership Rules to Be Held at Town Hall Seattle Nov. 9 11/02/2007 10:05:00 AM Eastern

With Hill Democrats calling hearings right and left to try to put the breaks on a possible December vote on new media-ownership rules, Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin appears to be sticking to his timetable for getting a vote done by December.

Town Hall Seattle

As expected, the FCC announced that it will hold a hearing Friday, Nov. 9, on media ownership in Seattle.

It is the last of the FCC's planned hearings, with Martin expected to release his proposals for rule rewrites Nov. 13, with a vote on Dec. 18 if all goes as planned.

That would mean he likely has the three Republican votes for some deregulatory modification of the rules.

The FCC gave five business days' notice, just as it did for the last of the localism hearings it held. The hearing will be held from 4 p.m.-11 p.m. at Town Hall Seattle, Great Hall, 1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca Street).

Democratic commissioners complained at the localism hearing that there was not sufficient notice -- a criticism likely to be echoed this time around, as well. And hardly had those words been put to page when the following arrived from an aide to Democratic Commissioner Michael Copps, a joint statement with Democatic Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein: "A hearing with only five days notice is no nirvana for Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.  This smells like mean spirit.  

"Clearly, the rush is on to push media consolidation to a quick and ill-considered vote.  It shows there is a preordained outcome.  Pressure from the public and their elected representatives is ignored.  With such short notice, many people will be shut out.  We received notice of the hearing just moments before it was announced.  This is outrageous and not how important media policy should be made."

Then came the following: “This is another slap in the face to the American public,” said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press. “Chairman Kevin Martin’s determination to ignore millions of concerned citizens, Congress and simple fairness is outrageous. It is now crystal clear that Chairman Martin could care less about what happens to our local media. This whole process has been a charade.”

Then came the following: “This is another slap in the face to the American public,” said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press. “Chairman Kevin Martin’s determination to ignore millions of concerned citizens, Congress and simple fairness is outrageous. It is now crystal clear that Chairman Martin could care less about what happens to our local media. This whole process has been a charade.”

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