FCC's Martin: Easing Digital Transition Is Top Priority
April 25, 2006 at 8:49 AM (PT)
FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN told the annual NAB2006 FCC Chairman's Breakfast audience that the Commission's top priority is to help broadcasters and communications companies adjust and transition to new media in a digital age.
Interviewed by NAB Joint Board Chair and BONNEVILLE Pres./CEO BRUCE REESE, MARTIN stressed the need to clarify and adjust the rules, with the Commission "trying to make sure we make regulations that allow for" a smooth transition.
MARTIN offered nothing new about the indecency issue, repeating the position that the Commission is trying to provide guidance through its recent rulings and that "we'll continue to struggle through" the issue, but did not directly address REESE's question about the TV networks' legal challenge to the rulings. He cited the PACIFICA case from the 70s to point out that some of the recent cases included language that was proscribed by that ruling (the GEORGE CARLIN "seven words" routine).
On the possibility of local material on satellite radio, MARTIN said that "the Commission has been diligent ... to put conditions on (terrestrial repeaters)" and that it "will continue to follow through with that kind of approach." He called satellite radio "a very important service" but "fundamentally different ... we need to recognize that." He remained vague on the topic of the backlog of FM translator and LPFM applications, saying only that "we're going to try to find the right balance" in addressing competing demands for spectrum.