CU Letter to the Senate Urging Support of Media Ownership Bills

July 29, 2003
Dear Senator:
We appreciate the strong bipartisan support for overturning the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to eliminate media ownership rules; Congress is clearly listening to the millions of Americans that are voicing their concerns about rules that allow media giants to grow their control over local news and information markets. If you have not already done so, we are writing to urge you to sign onto legislation that would correct problems with the FCC’s order.
S. 1046, the Preservation of Localism, Program Diversity, and Competition in Television Broadcast Service Act of 2003 (sponsored by Senators Stevens and Hollings), reported out of the Senate Commerce Committee on June 19th, currently has 45 cosponsors. S.J. Res. 17, which disapproves the FCC rule under the Congressional Review Act, currently has 35 signatories from both sides of the aisle. For those who have not cosponsored these measures, we urge you to add your support to them before the August recess.
The attached Wall Street Journal articles detail some of the illogical results of the FCC’s recent decision on media ownership rules. One article notes how loopholes in the Commission’s “Diversity Index” give the absurd result of allowing more media consolidation in small markets like Sioux Falls, South Dakota than in Detroit, Michigan, even though Sioux Falls has approximately half as many commercial TV stations. The other article details how the Commission’s decision redefining radio markets will allow radio giants like Clear Channel Communications to gobble up even more stations than the 1200 they already own.
We urge you to cosponsor S. 1046 and S.J. Res. 17 and bring back sensible measures to protect competition, localism and diversity in media ownership.
For more information, please contact Chris Murray or Gene Kimmelman at (202) 462-6262.
Gene Kimmelman
Senior Director for Advocacy and Public Policy
Enclosures >(in PDF format only)