Add the head of the Senate Commerce Committee to those concerned about the health of newspapers and broadcast properties.
Jessica Rosenworcel, an aide to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WVA), said Wednesday that was one of the committee’s priorities. She was appearing on a congressional panel at the NCTA annual convention in Washington.
"We would like to talk a little bit about the future of journalism and the future of the broadcast medium," she told her audience. She said the committee was concerned about "the diminished state of the newspaper industry and the consequences that has for the media market at large."
Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps said last week the FCC may need to look at the issue, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has urged the Justice Department to broaden its view of the competitive media markets if it is asked to consider media combos in her home territory (San Francisco), where The San Francisco Chronicle says it might have to shut down.
Rosenworcel was echoing comments she made earlier in the week to a broadcast group meeting in Washington, but the outlook for newspapers has darkened even more in only a couple of days. The Sun-Times Co. filed for bankruptcy Wednesday.