FCC schedules public workshop on media ownership April 20 in Tampa
The discussion about how or whether to change the nation's rules about media ownership returns to Tampa next month, courtesy of an April 20 workshop scheduled by the Federal Communications Commission at the University of South Florida.
The workshop session, which gives the public a chance to express its views about rules under review governing the ownership of broadcast and print outlets by the same company, is part of an ongoing process underway at the FCC to develop new guidelines for a constantly-changing media universe.
It's no coincidence that this sessions is scheduled in Tampa, home of Media General's Tampa Tribune, WFLA-Ch. 8, TBO.com, CENTRO and many other media platforms.
The last time the FCC came to Tampa looking at ownership rules was in 2007, when a Republican-led commission was on the verge of drafting new rules. Back then, hundreds of people showed for the session, which featured all five sitting commissioners and testimony from executives at the area's biggest media companies, including our own Times Publishing Co.
Given that the FCC gets most attention these days for its work on Internet and broadband issues, it will be interesting to see how much community concern remains on cross-ownership issues
An FCC spokeswoman couldn't say whether a commissioner would be present for the session, or who from local media outlets would likely sit on their panel.
But here's the agency's press release on it all. As always, stay tuned for more details later.
(MB DOCKET NO. 09-182)
Washington, D.C.: The Media Bureau today announced it will hold its next media ownership workshop on April 20, 2010, at the Marshall Student Center, University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, Florida.
Scheduled from 3:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the workshop will explore any benefits and harms of newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership and the impact these combinations have on competition and diversity in the media marketplace.
The one-panel forum will discuss, among other issues:
--- How newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership affects competition in the local media marketplace;--- To what extent, if any, cross-ownership affects the production of news and public affairs content.
--- Whether cross-owned combinations impact the quantity, quality, diversity, and responsiveness of local news and public affairs programming and if so, how.Panelists will include representatives from organizations with newspaper-television and newspaper-radio combinations, and media advocacy groups. Public participation in the workshop is encouraged.