Writers Guild Says Merged Media Could Fund Public TV

Also advises FCC to consider issues of convergence and control by companies that are both cable and Internet distributors
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The
Writers Guild of America East (WGAE) has advised the FCC that if it lets any
more big media companies merge, it should make them help pay for public affairs
programming on public television.

It
also advised it against allowing more consolidation of operations or ownership
of news media outlets--like local TV stations--and wants the FCC to start
thinking about concentration of power in multichannel video distribution by
companies that are also Internet Service Providers.

That
came in comments to the commission Thursday on its quadrennial review of media
ownership rules and which to keep, change or dispense with.

"[I]f
media conglomerates insist on being permitted to consolidate their hold on the
media marketplace, in exchange they can be required to contribute assets to
public programming," said WGAE.

On
the issue of convergence and control, WGAE cited the Comcast/NBCU deal,
which it opposes as advertised, as an example of the concentration of content
production and distribution by cable and Internet that it wants the FCC to
consider as it analyzes ownership rules.

The Guild
represents thousands of TV writers, editors and producers in entertainment and news.

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