FCC big guns slated for N.Y. hearing


According to the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists,
Federal Communications Commission members Kevin Martin and Michael Copps and
Media Bureau chief Ken Ferree have agreed to attend the informal "hearing" on
media-ownership rules being held Jan. 16 at Columbia University in New York.

While not an official hearing, the event will feature five daylong panels dissecting the media-ownership studies produced by FCC working groups
as part of the commission's congressionally mandated review of its regulations.

The Columbia event was created at the prompting of AFTRA and other unions
that have asserted that the FCC studies -- which generally are seen as justifying some
further deregulation -- are flawed and that more study is needed.

According to AFTRA, "Sitting commissioners will receive testimony and may ask
questions. Press and members of the audience will be invited to ask questions through a

That moderator -- AFTRA wants a journalist -- has yet to be named.

Most commissioners also are expected to attend an
additional hearing hosted by the University of Southern California's Annenberg
Center for Communications Feb. 18.

The two privately organized hearings supplement an FCC-sponsored hearing in
Richmond, Va., next month.