FCC Contemplates More Informative License Renewals

July 27, 2007
Chairman Martin wants a license renewal process that gives the commission more of a handle on whether broadcasters are fulfilling their public service obligations.

Martin told lawmakers during an FCC oversight hearing this week he has such a proposal circulating among his colleagues.

In prepared testimony for a hearing of the House Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, Commissioner Copps, long a critic of the renewal process, stated there should be a system "that doesn't grant slam-dunk renewals, but looks at whether a licensee is really doing its job to serve the local community" and also called for that info to be posted on the Web, although it's not clear if he meant by stations or the FCC.

Commissioner Adelstein stated that regarding the pending media ownership review, he's learned during public hearings that "concern remains high among many of our citizens about the negative impact of consolidation on competition, localism and diversity. As we conduct the congressionally mandated review of our rules, we need to keep Congress' public interest mandate foremost in our mind. Any changes we contemplate must address the dismal state of women and minority ownership."

(Radio World)

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