Copps, Adelstein Blast Ownership Studies Time Frame
July 31, 2007 at 4:53 PM (PT)
The FCC has released its Public Notice seeking comment on 10 studies in its broadcast ownership review, making the deadline for comments OCTOBER 1 and reply comments OCTOBER 16.
The studies include NIELSEN's look at "How People Get News and Information"; an FCC study on "Ownership Structure and Robustness of Media"; UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA professor GREGORY S. CRAWFORD's paper on "Television Station Ownership Structure and the Quantity and Quality of TV Programming"; a four-section review of "News Operations" by the FCC; CRA INTERNATIONAL's look at "Station Ownership and Programming in Radio"; UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS and UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI professor JEFFREY MILYO's study of "The Effects of Cross-Ownership on the Local Content and Political Slant of Local Television News"; DUKE professors ARIE BERESTEANU and PAUL B. ELLICKSON's review of "Minority and Female Ownership in Media Enterprises"; SANTA CLARA UNIVERSITY professor ALLEN S. HAMMOND's study of "The Impact of the FCC’s TV Duopoly Rule Relaxation on Minority and Women Owned Broadcast Stations 1999-2006"; an AMERICAN BAR FOUNDATION, NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH and UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO study of "Integration and the Market for Broadcast and Cable Television Programming"; and an FCC "Review of the Radio Industry 2007."
Is this peer review -â?? or just a brief purview?
The 60-day deadline has infuriated Commissioners MICHAEL COPPS and JONATHAN ADELSTEIN, who issued a statement complaining, "Just when we hoped an open media ownership process was developing here at the FCC, along comes this bucket of ice water. These are 10 supposedly serious studies put together by teams of economists and analysts over an eight-month period. One study alone contains over 13 million data points. Yet the Commission expects the public to analyze all 10 studies, and reams of underlying data, and file comments 60 days from today! This is unfair, unnecessary, and ultimately unwise – inviting public, Congressional, and judicial outrage reminiscent of what happened when the FCC tried to loosen media ownership rules four years ago.
"We are told that all of the studies released today will undergo peer review, but many questions are left unanswered. How will the reviewers be selected? How long will they have to conduct their reviews? Will the public have ample time to examine the reviews before the comment cycle ends? Is this peer review -– or just a brief purview?"
"The Commission’s action today does not inspire confidence that this time around we are serious about getting it right."