FCC/Industry Content Summit Closed to Press

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We must have missed the announcement the first time around (as did some other media scribes), but the press will be excluded from the industry/Federal Communications Commission meeting to talk about what "responsible programming" is and what to do about it.

Veteran WUSA-TV anchor Gordon Peterson had been scheduled to moderate one of the panels, but pulled the plug after learning journalists were being excluded.

At the prompting of Washington and the suggestion of Clear Channel, the NAB decided to hold the March 31 summit to address ongoing content concerns about indecency.

Broadcasters are under pressure to self regulate, including creating a family hour of programming and a general code of programming conduct. NAB said the meeting will be closed to the news media "in order to encourage open and candid dialog."

While news people won't be allowed inside to report on the summit, among the moderators listed by the NAB were local TV news anchor Kathleen Matthews from WJLA-TV and Peterson, as well as WMAL(AM) talk show host Chris Core. Core said he did it as a courtesy to the NAB. "It was interesting and I said sure." He also said if there is anything interesting he will probably talk about it on air.

WUSA-TV's Gordon Peterson had also been listed, but told B&C he has canceled after learning journalists were not being allowed to cover it. "I'm in the business of getting the word out, not covering the word up, so I told them I couldn't do it," he said.

Among the confirmed participants are ABC TV President Alex Wallau, Fox Networks Group President Tony Vinciquerra, FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Commissioners Michael Copps and Kevin Martin and Emmis Radio President Rick Cummings.

NAB is expected to arrange a briefing for media after the summit.

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