Broadcasters working the halls at the FCC


Last week, a contingent of broadcasters and attorneys went to the FCC, representing even more broadcasters, in this case reminding key FCC employees at the Office of Strategic Planning about the importance of broadcasters to their local communities, and the need to keep them healthy and strong.

Dunia Shive, CEO of Belo Corp., Dave Lougee, President, Broadcasting Division, Gannett Co. Inc., and Jon Blake and Kurt Wimmer of Covington & Burling were the visitors to the FCC. They were speaking with OSP Deputy Chief Elizabeth Andrion and Senior Advisor Steven Waldman, pictured.

In addition to representing their own companies’ interests, Shive and Lougee said they were at the Commission on behalf of Barrington Broadcasting Group, Post-Newsweek Stations Inc. and Raycom Media Inc.

The pretext of the visit was to discuss the FCC’s proceeding on the future of media. In the summary of the meeting submitted by Wimmer, they said they “did not make a presentation addressing the merits of the pending proceeding…”

However, they did make several points. They discussed:

* The importance of broadcasting to the public and the need to preserve and strengthen local broadcast journalism

* The parameters for effective and reasonable programming documentation requirements

* The potential for true market-based ownership regulation to foster innovative and increased local journalism

* The value of market-based retransmission consent negotiations in supporting local community service.

According to Hillicon Valley, the NAB has been sponsoring similar meetings with commissioners and FCC staffers, making sure broadcast viewpoints are front and center in the discussion of numerous hot-button issues pending before the Commission this year.

Pictured: FCC’s Steven Waldman