Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, November 9, 2007

LIVE from Town Hall: Speakers make opposition to consolidation clear

The FCC's moderator for tonight's hearing announced earlier this evening that the Commission will forego the originally scheduled break because the hearing is running a bit behind on time.

So, the public testimony continues to flow, with Chairman Kevin Martin and fellow Republican Robert McDowell sitting quietly at the table in between Commissioners Copps and Adelstein (who can frequently be seen clapping or smiling.)

Whether they're really listening is difficult to tell, but there's no way they can completely tune out what's happening at the hearing given the raucous and very interactive audience here tonight.

We've heard from several folks involved with management of low-power community FM radio stations as well as those with corporate media Bill Whipple, who worked at KIRO for many years and debunked several myths propogated by big media's lobbyists, including the idea that consolidation has helped the radio industry by increasing the number of stations.

Many radio stations, Whipple observed, are computer operated, and amount to nothing more than "high-tech jukeboxes" as he put it. As for claims that the industry's conglomerates are responsible to communities, he said, "Most charities are not given the time of day by big media".

It's amazing how many people have been able to come here prepared and deliver concise, powerful remarks on very short notice from the FCC.


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