FCC Ownership Proceedings Draw Criticism From Senator, Call For More Time From MMTC
November 30, 2012 at 4:50 AM (PT)
The FCC's consideration of a draft proposal of new ownership rules that would loosen restrictions on cross-ownership has drawn criticism from Sen. MARIA CANTWELL (D-WA), who told Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI in a letter that she was "disappointed" that he circulated the the proposal, which she says, judging by media reports, "significantly weakens" the cross-ownership rule," in a private vote rather than at an open meeting.
Calling on GENACHOWSKI to have the Commission vote on the matter in public, CANTWELL said, "Given how important media ownership rules are to the public and to the public interest and the recent history of the issue at the Commission, I expected you would conduct this process in a more transparent manner."
Meanwhile, the MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL's DAVID HONIG issued a statement on the ownership proceeding supporting calls to have the Commission extend the comment period for the proceeding on minority ownership, saying that "thirty additional days for the parties to file comments on that issue and others would be beneficial; for example, a twenty-day lightning round of comments with ten days for reply comments. Certainly, the opportunity to improve the record on the relationship between structural rules and minority ownership, on the definition of an eligible entity, on the many specific pending proposals aimed at advancing minority ownership, and on the research needed to ensure that decisions made in this area are well supported and wise would be desirable."