Claws out in ownership spats

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Backbiting over recent media-ownership hearings characterizes the internal
catfight that is preceding a final vote on proposed rule changes.

The latest sniping targets Federal Communications Commission Democrats Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein,
whom deregulation supporters said exaggerated the potential impact of loosening or
dropping some ownership rules in a release publicizing a hearing this past Friday in
Seattle.

Today's rules, the release said, stop "a single corporation from dominating"
local TV markets.

Similar gripes of bias have plagued nearly all hearings so far.

FCC chairman Michael Powell suffered criticism that too little time was allotted
for citizen input at the Richmond, Va., hearing earlier this month.

That criticism stung because he originally slated two hours for individuals
to speak out, but pressure for more scheduled witnesses forced him to cut back.

Some deregulation foes also questioned the choice of moderator Thomas
Krattenmaker, author of a 1980 FCC study urging
deregulation of rules governing ownership and network-affiliate relations.

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