FCC Chairman Kevin Martin leads off the witness list for a June 10 hearing of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications & Internet, which will examine the broadcast industry’s and government’s progress toward the transition to digital TV and the Feb. 17, 2009 cut-off of full-power analog broadcasts.
Joining Martin on the subcommittee's first panel will be Mark Goldstein of the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Part of the reason for the hearing was Goldstein's GAO report on the status of the transition which found progress and problems. The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) will be represented by Associate Administrator Bernadette McGuire-Rivera.
Other witnesses will be: Raycom President Paul McTear (broadcasters are obviously central to the transition); RadioShack senior VP John Ripperton (consumer electronics companies sell the digital TV's and DTV-to-analog converter boxes); IBM's Tom Romeo (IBM is the contractor administering NTIA's converter box coupon program); Mark Lloyd of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (minorities are one of the government's target DTV education populations because they have higher analog-only viewing levels than the general population); Kim Cannon Time Warner Cable of Fayetteville/Wilmington, N.C. (the FCC is testing the cut-off of analog TV in that market this September); and Eric Rossi of Nielsen (the company is actively engaged with stations on how the change in technology affects TV ratings and viewership).