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Hurricanes, Ownership Dominate FCC Breakfast

Hurricanes, Ownership Dominate FCC Breakfast

Hurricane preparedness, HD Radio, media ownership and satellite radio all were hot topics at the FCC Breakfast on Thursday.
Commissioners Kathleen Abernathy and Jonathan Adelstein recently toured areas affected by Hurricane Katrina. As Hurricane Rita bears down on the Texas coast, they said broadcasters were prepared for Katrina and are now getting ready for Rita.
“Unfortunately, we’re faced with this horrible situation in Texas,” said Adelstein. “Supplies are being put into position. It’s going to be another tough one.”
Abernathy and Adelstein praised the response of broadcasters, and said it was good to see the cooperation between radio groups and stations.
Asked to speak about the radio market definition, which broadcasters “has been resolved wrongly,” shaping up,
Abernathy said her biggest challenge, she said, is not the large markets, which have several layers of media, but in the smaller to medium-size markets. In some of those cases, the commission would only know what to do if it tackled the issue on a case-by-case basis, she said. “We have to work in more flexibility in the analysis of these deals.”
Adelstein called the original media ownership decision-making process “one of the biggest storms to hit the FCC.” The commission needs to let the industry and the public know ahead of time what it’s thinking before decisions are made, he said.