FCC To Vote Monday on Media Ownership Rules

In a last ditch effort to combat an expected 3-2 vote on Monday that would allow large corporations to further control our nation’s media, two Federal Communications Commissioners held the last of a series of unofficial public hearings on the issue in Atlanta. FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, who have opposed FCC Chairman Michael Powell’s proposal to relax media ownership rules, held a town hall meeting attended by more than 600 people. Copps and Adelstein have previously asked Powell, son of US Secretary of State Collin Powell, to conduct public hearings around the nation on the issue, he refused.

“We are on the eve of the most sweeping and potentially most destructive overhaul of ownership laws in the history of American broadcast – and most people have no idea what’s about to happen to them and their media,” Adelstein said at the Atlanta meeting as reported by Salon.com. “The FCC is about to supersize the media.”

Earlier this week, a diverse group of approximately 25 groups– from the National Rifle Association to Common Cause— gathered in Washington to speak out against the proposed changes. Meanwhile, Powell has been making numerous media appearances to defend his proposal to increase corporatization of

The specifics of Powell’s proposed changes include a change in the media ownership cap to allow a single company to own TV stations that reach 45 percent of households in the US; and the rewriting of two existing “cross-ownership” rules that would lift current restrictions that keep companies from owning a newspaper and a radio or TV station in the same market or radio and TV stations in the same market.

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Salon.com 5/29/03; Associated Press 5/28/03; Feminist Daily News 5/13/03

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