FCC plans public hearings on broadcaster service obligations

Not to be left out this time, FCC Chairman Michael Powell has announced that the FCC plans to hold a series of public hearings throughout the country to determine how broadcasters are providing local service in exchange for their use of broadcast spectrum.

Powell, who refused to participate in several Democratic-sponsored FCC hearings on media rules changes earlier in the year, said the new round of public meetings would be scheduled to coincide with broadcast license renewals in a given area.

A goal of the hearings, Powell said, will be to hear the concerns that citizens may have about the performance of broadcasters in their communities.

Part of Powell’s goal is also to rebut FCC critics who contend station renewals are virtually rubber stamped without a critique of a broadcaster’s public service record.

Powell, in a news briefing, warned that an inquiry into localism could result in new FCC regulations on broadcasters.

For more information visit www.fcc.gov.

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