Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., believes FCC Chairman Martin should wait to vote on media ownership to allow more time for public input on how broadcasters serve their communities.
Feingold opposed passage of the 1996 Telecom Act, which, he said in a letter to Martin, “allowed significant consolidation in radio ownership silencing many of the exceptional voices that are the strength of local radio.”
Feingold continued: “At a minimum, the commission should complete the separate localism proceeding prior to making decisions on the current media ownership rules. This proceeding should provide ample opportunity for the public to comment on any conclusions or proposed rule changes.”
The chairman has folded localism into the broader media ownership proceeding and says the commission has held ample hearings on ownership. The agency plans a vote on minority ownership next week.