USC ownership hearing on track


Last-minute negotiations between GOP commissioners over new telephone rules
nearly forced the cancellation of the University of Southern California's Feb.
18 hearing on media ownership.

Desiring a bipartisan panel from the FCC, USC officials considered calling
off the event when Republicans Kathleen Abernathy and Kevin Martin said they
couldn't make the trip in order to broker a compromise on new telephone rules by
Feb. 20.

The rules were originally slated to be approved Feb. 13, but agency chairman
Michael Powell couldn't get a three-vote majority.

As cancellation was being discussed, someone realized, "Hey, we're talking
about the Federal Communications Commission, why not try

Abernathy and Martin have agreed to appear via video link, but both cautioned that scheduling conflicts may prevent them from participating in the entire event.

Powell never planned to attend, citing a prior medical