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Guild Gets Face Time With FCC Dems - Broadcasting & Cable

Guild Gets Face Time With FCC Dems

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According to the Writers Guild of America, Democratic FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein are meeting with union members in L.A. this week to talk about the state of news.

The state of WGA, East and West, is that the unions have been in extended contract talks with CBS and working without a contract since April 2005. CBS' reported proposal to remove news producers from the union is a key sticking point. The guild argues that removing them from the union threatens their objectivity and independence, and thus the quality of their work.

The meeting with the FCC commissioners follows a letter sent to the FCC three weeks ago by a trio of House Democrats asking that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin look into the issues raised by the negotiations in terms of journalistic quality and independence.

The three legislators represent the three states most affected by the negotiations over new contracts with news employees in New York, L.A., Chicago, and Washington--Maurice Hinchey (NY); Diane Watson (Calif.) and Jan Schakowsky (Ill.).

A guild spokeswoman Tuesday said the meeting with Adelstein and Copps was "another step in the process."

According to an aide for Commissioner Copps, the pair are going to be in L.A. for National Latino Media Council town meeting on media issues.

She said commissioners on such trips try to reach out to anyone with issues before the commission.

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