Sunday, April 22, 2007


Anyone who has paid attention to the media business over the past two decades should be concerned at the degree to which the industry has gone into the hands of a few highly bankrolled corporations. This is most noticable in the radio business, in which I worked for 15 years. Thankfully, I worked throughout my career for locally based broadcasters who cared about the communities they served and worked hard to provide a more than adequete service to those areas.

A sharp decrease in the amount of locally originated programming in favour of syndicated or satellite-delivered shows or the practice of voice-tracking (where the announcer you may hear is actually in another city and recorded his/her bits well in advance) is only part of the story. The nearly disappearance in many cases of news and public affairs programming or the stripping of field news reporting to cut costs, and the practice of broadcasters choosing to abandon smaller population areas originally licensed to in favour of relocating studios and/or transmitters/towers to take advantage of bigger advertising dollars in nearby metropolitian areas have also become commonplace by companies such as Clear Channel, CBS Radio, and Entercom.

Those people who have noticed these troubling items have an opportunity to speak out at a rare public hearing which the Federal Communications Commission will hold in Tampa on April 30th. This is one of several being held across the country to seek opinion on the issue of media consilidation as the Commission is considering loosening the rules even further. The hearing will allow average Joes such as you and me to address three of the five commissioners who will be present.

Here are the details:

Monday, April 30
04:00 - 11:00 PM
Louise Lykes Ferguson Hall
Tampa Bay Peforming Arts Center
1010 North W.C. McInnes Place
Tampa, Florida


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