Audio News for November 2, 2007

by | Nov 2, 2007 | Audio News | 0 comments

FCC Forced to Reverse Support of Conglomerates Controlling U.S. Communications – The scandalous situation of the Federal Communications Commission having since 2003 blocked the release of reports showing the dangers of their having allowed a small handful of media conglomerates to control communications is finally exposed. An investigation of this “foxes managing the hen house” situation has been agreed to by FCC chair Kevin Martin after 34 House members demanded it. But at the same time Martin continues to work on proposed rule changes that would eliminate a ban on cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations. He wants to create “media company towns” in which one giant corporation owns nearly all the newspapers, TV and radio stations, cable systems and the top Internet sites – promising big profits for the companies that own the “news.”  So much for democracy and the diversification which the FCC once supported.

A federal appeals court blocked implementation of the changes approved by the FCC, but Martin is massaging the rules so they can pass legal muster. It is now clear that this federal agency – supposedly charged with protecting the public interest – instead has become the messenger for the huge telecommunications empires that it should be regulating! Most of the station ownership caps were removed by the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The mainstream media hasn’t been covering the strong grassroots disgust and opposition to such consolidation. Of course. Congressional pressure can help reform these media policies; write your congressman!

Consumer Education Campaign on DTV – The TV industry is engaged in a major DTV consumer education program designed to ensure that no viewer loses access to free programming when TV stations switch to all-digital broadcasting on February 17, 2009. 18 broadcast companies representing 139 stations (see above FCC news) recently joined the campaign, which includes a variety of on-air, online and grassroots initiatives, plus earned media and advertising components. Many other stations will also be participating. A DTV Road Show visiting 600 locations and a DTV Speakers Bureau to reach one million consumers are part of the campaign. There will be 30-minute educational programs about DTV, TV  spots, crawls and news tickers during regular programming, and a 100-day countdown to the 2/17/2009 deadline when all analog TV sets will no longer be able to pick up any signals directly. The campaign is expected to reach nearly all TV viewers and to generate 98 billion audience impressions during its course.

Boston Pops Launches Net TV Program – The Boston Pops has become the first orchestra to launch an internet program,  enabling the band to increase its outreach to a global audience. The first program is available free on their site and is titled “Oscar and Tony.” Musical Director Keith Lockhart conducts a program of award-winning music from Hollywood and Broadway, including selections from Chicago, Titanic, The Sound of Music and Lawrence of Arabia, plus footage of a recording session, interviews with musicians, and a conducting lesson from Maestro Lockhart, who is also the program host.

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