FCC Witnesses Include a Blast From Local Media's Past: Former WTVT Reporter Steve Wilson
Wilson, local news junkies with long memories will recall, worked as an investigative reporter with WTVt-Ch. 13 with his then-wife Jane 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 www.fcc.gov 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 http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/upload_v2.cgi and enter proceeding number 06-121. Filing instructions are provided at http://www.fcc.gov/ownership/comments.html.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 http://www.fcc.gov/ownership. Press inquiries should be directed to Clyde Ensslin, at 202-418-0506, or David Fiske, at 202-418-0513.