Ownership battles start to boil

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The media-ownership fight continues to heat up.

Four senior House Democrats Thursday added their names to the list of
consolidation critics demanding that the Federal Communications Commission reveal
specifics of proposed rule changes before a planned June 2 commission vote.

"Your current media-ownership proceeding is among the most important the
commission has ever undertaken, and the American public and Congress deserve an
opportunity to review and comment on your changes before they go into effect,"
wrote Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and David Obey (D-Wis.), the ranking Democrats on the House
Commerce and Appropriations Committees.

Also signing were Reps. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.), top Democrats on
subcommittees for telecommunications and for Commerce Department and Judiciary
appropriations.

On the Senate side, Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced a May
13 hearing on media-ownership changes.

Witnesses include Viacom Inc. president Mel Karmazin, Capitol Broadcasting
Co. Inc. president Jim Goodmon, Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. broadcast analyst Victor B. Miller and
Consumers Union director Gene Kimmelman.

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