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FCC Witnesses Include a Blast From Local Media's Past: Former WTVT Reporter Steve Wilson



I was scanning through the list of area media notables tapped to testify as part of the Federal Communication Commission's Monday hearing on ownership Stevemugwebissues, and I saw a startling name.

Steve Wilson.

Wilson, local news junkies with long memories will recall, worked as an investigative reporter with WTVt-Ch. 13 with his then-wife Wilsonakre2Jane Akre. The two left the station after wrangling for months over an investigative story on growth horemones given to dairy cows. Station officials claimed the pair made allegations they couldn't back up and were too resistant to reasonable editing, Wilson claimed the station was cowed by hormone manufacturer Monsanto's threats of legal action.

I always thought Wilson and Akre's stories were imperfect pieces that raised interesting questions, but were mostly derailed by the then-general manager's distaste for investigative work and a growing personal animosity between him and Wilson.

I'm betting next week's pay he's going to tell the FCC commissioners that his story was scuttled by Fox higher-ups outside Tampa who didn't want the hassle with Monsanto. But I've always felt the real story of what happened there is much more complex and had less to do with corporate intrigue than Wilson and Akre believed.

Here's the FCC's list of the meeting's agenda and witnesses. If you're planning to try speaking during the public comment sections, make sure you arrive at 3 p.m. when doors open to sign up.

Agenda and list of witnesses follows:
(All Times EST)

4:00 p.m.       Welcome/Opening Remarks

4:30 p.m.       Panel Discussion 1: Market Overview / Tampa, Florida Case Study

Dan Bradley, Media General Vice President of News for Broadcast

Bill Carey, General Manager of WFTS-TV and Incoming President of the Florida Association of Broadcasters
Robert Dardenne, Associate Professor in Journalism and Media Studies at Univ. of South Florida-St. Petersburg
Steve Erlanger, President, Hometown News
Ronald Gordon, President of ZGS Broadcast Holdings
Jim Johnson, Publisher of State of Sunshine, a political blog covering the state of Florida
Eric Klinenberg, Associate Professor of Sociology at New York University

                Patrick Manteiga, Editor and Publisher of La Gaceta
                Pat Roberts, President of the Florida Association of Broadcasters

Art Rowbotham, President of Hall Communications
Steve Wilson, Investigative Journalist

5:30 p.m.       Public Comments

7:30 p.m.       Break

8:00 p.m.       Panel Discussion 2: Perspectives on Media Ownership
        Gerardo Reyes-Chavez, Coalition of Immokalee Workers

Glenn Cherry, President/CEO and Chairman of the Board of Tama Broadcasting

        Roswell Clarke, Director of Technical Operations and System Admin., Cox Radio-Tampa

Bob D’Andrea, President of the Christian Television Network
Dr. Karen Brown Dunlap, President of The Poynter Institute

        Bob Gremillion, President, CEO and Publisher of the South Florida Sentinel
        Carol Jenkins, President of The Women’s Media Center
        Larry Lee, Jr., Owner of WFLM-FM/WIRA(AM), Port St. Lucie, Florida
        Luis Lopez, Director of Public Relations, Hispanic Alliance of Tampa Bay
        Carlina Rodriguez, Director of Organizing Spanish Language, Screen Actors Guild of America

Sam Rosenwasser, President and General Manager of WTSP(TV)
Rich Templin, Communications Director, Florida AFL-CIO

9:00 p.m.       Public Comments

11:00 p.m.      Wrap-Up/Adjournment

The moderator will be Louis Sigalos, Chief of the Consumer Affairs & Outreach Division, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC

A live audio cast of the hearing will be available at the FCC’s website at on a first-come, first-served basis.  The public may also file comments or other documents with the Commission and should reference docket number 06-121 when filing by paper or submit your filing electronically by going to and enter proceeding number 06-121. Filing instructions are provided at

Sign language interpreters and open captioning will be provided for this event.  Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request.  Include a description of the accommodation needed, and include a way we can contact you if we need more information.  Please make your request as early as possible.  Last minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.  Send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty).

Spanish language translation service will be provided at this location.

For additional information about the hearing, please visit the FCC’s website at  Press inquiries should be directed to Clyde Ensslin, at 202-418-0506, or David Fiske, at 202-418-0513.

[Last modified: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 2:38pm]


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