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Martin Vents After Class A Initiative Falters

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin expressed frustration Wednesday that the other four commissioners rejected his plan to make rules that could have provided Class A stations a clear path to full-power status.

The commission struck the item from its Wednesday (Oct. 15) meeting at about 4 p.m. Tuesday when Martin realized he did not have the votes to pass it. He said other commissioners supported a lesser measure—a notice of inquiry—that would have removed the potential for mandatory cable carriage for Low-Power stations.

“This provided nothing for Low-Power,” Martin told reporters in conference call.

Martin the plan has been circulating among commissioners since February and he suggested that pressure from broadcasters and cable companies had changed the view of some commissioners.

The plan would have enabled some Class A stations to apply for full-power status, under which they would then qualify for cable must-carry rights.

In a jab at Democratic Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, he said that some commissioners had previously voiced support for measures that would increase the diversity of broadcast voices, but now rejected his plan.

“They’re not being straightforward,” he said.