Last updated: November 5, 2008 - 10:50pm
With strong Democratic majorities in Congress and President Obama in the White House, the broadcast industry can 1) forget about looser media ownership rules, 2) start worrying about public interest obligations, and 3) gear up for a Democratic majority at the Federal Communications Commission. President Obama could tap one of the sitting Democratic commissioners, Michael Copps or Jonathan Adelstein, to run the agency until the new president gets around to nominating (and the Senate gets around to confirming) a new permanent chairman — a process that could take several months. Neither Copps nor Adelstein is good news for broadcasters, the lobbyists say. Both have vigorously opposed all efforts to loosen broadcast ownership rules and have championed new public service programming obligations for broadcasters. They contend that media consolidation is limiting the diversity of voices in media and they believe the American public is getting less than it should from broadcasters in exchange for the valuable spectrum. The Democratic duo has also gone along with current FCC Chairman Martin's crackdown on broadcast indecency, Commissioner Copps most enthusiastically.
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