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Powell Calls Changes ‘Modest,’ While Copps Says Radio Consolidation ‘Terrifying’

Powell Calls Changes 'Modest,' While Copps Says Radio Consolidation 'Terrifying'

Chairman Michael Powell said before the 3-2 vote the agency has completed on media ownership “the most exhaustive review undertaken” of the rules that he feels would pass judicial scrutiny. Crafting rules able to withstand judicial review was important, said fellow Republican Commissioner Kevin Martin, as the courts have overturned the last three media ownership rules they’re reviewed.
Democratic Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein dissented, taking up much of the approximately 90 minute meeting time. Adelstein called the ownership rules debate “painful.”
Of the radio consolidation that occurred after passage of the ’96 Telecom Act, Copps said, “This experience should terrify us.”
Both Adelstein and Copps declared the matter is not over and urged the public to continue to continue to make its voice heard. The commission received 3/4 of a million comments on media ownership.
Chairman Michael Powell called the changes “modest” and said keeping the rules the way they were was not a viable option. He said the commission heard the public’s concern about concentration, which introduced a note of “caution” in the deliberations.
Several protesters were among those who showed up at the FCC hearing. Two were removed when they began to sing in protest after the vote.