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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 08:04 AM

Bill Moyers: FCC Moves Towards More Media Consolidation [View all]

FCC Moves Towards More Media Consolidation

December 3, 2012
by Bill Moyers

The Federal Communications Commission is set to vote to relax a longstanding ban that prevents one company from owning radio and television stations and newspapers in the same city — a move that activists are calling a giant Christmas present to Rupert Murdoch. The media titan has floated the idea of buying The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times, the dominant papers in cities where he already owns TV stations. What’s worse, the FCC is operating behind closed doors, rather than inviting public comment on the issue.

So Craig Aaron, president and CEO of Free Press, is asking people to speak out — by signing a petition, writing an editorial and calling congressmen. Aaron and his organization have been among those leading the charge against increased media monopolization. Similar attempts to change ownership rules were thwarted in 2003 and 2007. Earlier today, Bill Moyers caught up with Aaron via Skype to learn more about the current proposal and what viewers can do to help stop it.

Bill Moyers: Craig Aaron, tell us what you know about this FCC ruling that’s under consideration?

Craig Aaron: Well, what I know is that, according to all trade reports, the Federal Communications Commission is considering moving very quickly to get rid of longstanding limits on how much media one company can own in a town. And if they go with the plan that they’re currently considering, it would open the door to one company owning the daily newspaper, two television stations, eight radio stations, possibly even your internet service provider — all in one community. These are the exact same rules that are preventing someone like Rupert Murdoch of Fox News from owning The Chicago Tribune or owning The Los Angeles Times. If these rules go away, suddenly deals like that become possible.

Moyers: Why the rush?

Aaron: I have no idea, to be honest, Bill. These are rules that they have tried to push through in the past, back in 2003, again in 2007, and it has failed at every turn. It simply has not gone through. It’s been thrown out by the courts, rejected by Congress, and all of the sudden at the tail end of Obama’s first term, we’re seeing it again. ...................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://billmoyers.com/2012/12/03/fcc-moves-towards-more-media-consolidation/

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