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Powell: ‘No Palace Coup’

Powell: 'No Palace Coup'

Questioned at NAB2003 by ABC’s Sam Donaldson about a recent public split among Republican FCC commissioners, Chairman Michael Powell said he had decided when he became chairman not to shrink from controversial decisions.
Of a recent telecom vote he lost to a coalition led by fellow GOP commissioner Kevin Martin, Powell said he was comfortable with his vote.
But contrary to a remark by House Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., Powell said, the vote did not constitute a “palace coup.”
It’s not as if “Saddam’s tanks” were rolling around the FCC, Powell quipped.
Powell didn’t give away too much about the commission’s plans regarding new ownership rules, expected in June. He said don’t expect the FCC to lift them all, and repeated concerns about the agency reviewing the media ownership rules every two years.
“It’s destabilizing to industry and hard on the commission.”
On the issues of concentration, consolidation and the effects on radio, Powell said, “People forget radio was on its knees before the ’96 Act. I think a lot of radio survived because of these changes.”

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