NCTA Sends Second Belo Letter

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The National Cable & Telecommunications Association is sending a second letter to a second Belo Corp.-owned newspaper complaining that an editorial supporting digital-TV multicasting must-carry for TV stations did not disclose station-owner Belo's financial interest in the outcome.

Belo has been lobbying Congress and the FCC for full carriage, including several letters from Belo chairman Robert Decherd.

The newest letter is to the Providence Journal (yesterday's was to the Dallas Morning News over its pro-multicasting editorial).

The letter to the Providence Journal says, in part: "The February 9 Providence Journal editorial ("Heartbeat of Democracy") purports to address important digital TV issues being considered by the FCC, but it unfortunately masks a corporate pattern of non disclosure of financial interests by Belo Corporation."

The Dallas Morning News printed NCTA's letter Wednesday with a note saying the lack of disclosure on its Feb. 7 editorial was an oversight, but that it has disclosed the relationship numerous times (Dechard says thousands), including in an editorial Feb. 1 and in news stories since then.

The FCC is planning to vote Feb. 10 on whether or not broadcasters should get full cable and satellite carriage of all their digital signals.

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