>> This is a 2009 article. For “WBA Branches Out” story dated March 2, 2012, click here.<<
Quick, where can you go to hear speakers from the Future of Music Coalition, Prometheus Radio Project and the NAB all talking about media ownership rules?
Answer: The Federal Communications Commission meeting room in Washington on three days in early November.
The FCC has announced the agenda and initial participants in workshops that it will hold as part of its 2010 ownership rule review, a process it must do every four years.
Under the 1996 Telecom Act, the FCC must review five rules: newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership; radio/television cross-ownership; local television ownership; local radio ownership; and the dual network rule. It's supposed to yank or modify any regulation that it finds to be no longer in the public interest as a result of competition.
The panels just announced will be grouped into three: policy scholars; public interest groups; and broadcasters and media trade associations (so unfortunately we don't get to see an NAB exec sitting shoulder to shoulder with Prometheus this time around).
Among those taking part: Former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth; Simon Wilkie, an economics professor and former commission chief economist; Cheryl Leanza of the United Church of Christ; Andy Schwartzman of Media Access Project on behalf of Prometheus Radio Project; Jane Mago of the National Association of Broadcasters; and James L. Winston of the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters. The full list is here.
They workshops are open to the public but there's no audience participation in this round other than advanced written comments. You'll also be able watch the discussions via the FCC's webcast.