Broadcast attorney Jonathan Blake doesn’t believe federal regulators think too much of broadcast television.
In 50 years of representing television clients before the FCC, courts and Congress, Blake says he’s been struck by the indifference and hostility at times, directed at local television owners and viewers.
The public served by broadcasters does not share this antagonism, writes Blake in an Op Ed for The Hill.
Indeed, they turn to broadcasters for local news, weather, sports and emergency alerts, as well as support for local causes and activities.
“In a total disconnect from viewers, some regulators, legislators, and the public interest community fail to acknowledge the benefits provided by local broadcasters. Rival industries exploit this attitude,” writes Blake, a retired partner at Covington & Burling who headed the firm’s communications and media practice.
He notes frequent criticisms of broadcasters from outside the industry is that it fails to innovate and received its spectrum for free.
“Broadcasters have proposed creative solutions to Congress and the FCC, particularly with respect to accommodating spectrum issues, but these solutions have often been met with resistance rather than given a fair hearing. Broadcasters also have played a constructive role with respect to the National Broadband Plan,” writes Blake.
He says it’s time for an attitude change.