Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 2:01am
MARTIN WANTS AFFILS TO RETREAT ON INDECENCY
[SOURCE: TVNewsday 5/5, AUTHOR: Kim McAvoy]
[Commentary] Is FCC Chairman Kevin Martin trying to recruit broadcasters for his anti-indecency crusade? It appears so. During a private get-together with the influential Television Operators Caucus at the NAB convention last week, sources say, Martin scolded the network affiliates who compose the TOC for joining the networks in challenging the FCCâ€™s latest round of indecency fines. And, the sources say, Martin asked that the broadcasters support his controversial a la carte proposal that would require cable operators to allow subscribers to pick and choose the channels they want and, in that way, avoid those channels they feel were indecent or otherwise unsuitable for viewing in their homes. There is much the TOC wants from the FCC, and Martin will be able accommodate them, once Robert McDowell joins the agency and puts Martin at the head of a three-commissioner Republican majority. Among other things, the network affiliates would like the FCC to require cable operators to carry their digital multicast signals and ease the ownership rules banning duopolies in small markets and newspaper-broadcast crossownership. The broadcasters would also probably like action on their long-standing petition affirming the affiliatesâ€™ right to preempt network programming. TOC members currently hold eight of the 23 seats on the NAB TV board, which means it has a loud voice in setting NAB policy.
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