Word on the street is that the FCC will be holding its last public hearing on media ownership in Seattle in November. That would be only about a month before Chairman Martin hopes to ram through a decision on the proceeding, likely in direct contradiction to public sentiment, which otherwise urges keeping ownership limits in place.
Reclaim the Media have already sprung into action to schedule workshops in preparation in order to take advantage of this rare opportunity to speak directly to the Commission, much as activists did last month for the Chicago hearing.
It also looks like Congress isn’t going to lay down on the issue and just let Martin blow a wet kiss to Tribune, et al. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama jumped in on media ownership today with a letter to Kevin Martin:
I am writing regarding your proposal to move forward aggressively with modifications to existing media ownership rules. According to press accounts, you intend to present specific changes to existing rules in November with a Commission vote on that proposal – whatever it may be – on December 18, 2007. I believe both the proposed timeline and process are irresponsible. …
I find it disturbing that, according to the New York Times, the Commission is considering repealing the newspaper and television cross ownership rules.