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[03 June 2003]
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE (McClure & Trowbridge Publishing Ltd)
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"MEDIA CONSOLIDATION & THE FCC"

[Nashville, TN - USA]

Trowbridge NEWS BRIEF 06/03/03 Nashville TN

WHAT IT IS
The federal communications commission, run by Chairman Michael Powell, son of the secretary of state Colin Powell, approved sweeping changes to the existing media ownership rules, despite widespread objection. A single company can now own more TV stations and hold the largest newspapers and broadcasters in the same markets.

At the same time, the commission tightened regulations over local radio ownership, seeking to stop the widespread consolidation that followed Congress's decision to lift national radio ownership limits in 1996.

Opponents fear the new rules will place too much power over public opinion in the hands of a few giant media corporations.

The proposed FCC deregulation changes received virtually no coverage from major television networks or newspapers, even though the issues are of vital interest to every American. Musicians Mike Mills of R.E.M. and Stone Gossard of Pearl Jam oppose the changes.

HOW IT EFFECTS YOU AND ME
Clear Channel Communications is buying up independent radio stations across America. (See "Payola") "The real picture is this: The Senate is putting pressure on labels and radio to clean up the legal payola system, and major labels are responding by buying up radio stations across America. They are essentially acquiring every station and forming a virtual monopoly. They don't need legal payola if they own the stations; they merely dictate play lists." [http://TrowbridgePlanetEarth.com/T2/news/RIAA-Payola.html]

Independent artists and music is played on small and large independent stations. If all the stations fall under ownership of one or a few corporations, you will lose your radio venue for your music and songs.

Agglomeration may impinge your freedom to read and hear unbiased news. Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox TV, DirecTV, Weekly Standard, New York Post, and 34 stations) has a political agenda that is reflected in his newspaper and TV news reports. If one or two or three corporate giants control all the papers, TV, and radio stations in the U.S., they may skew news reporting at will. There is no check other than competition, and they will have no competition.

Corporations have one directive: Make money. They do not have musician, writer, and recording artist interests at heart. Speak up to preserve your music airplay venues.

WHAT TO DO:
a. You can reach Michael K. Powell's office at: (202) 418-1000 (FCC - Federal Communications Commission)

b. Call or email your STATE SENATORS and LEGISLATORS. Enter your zip to find your representatives, and send them email. EMAIL WORKS! Tell them what you think on the "FCC DEREGULATION ISSUE". http://www.congress.org/congressorg/home/

JOIN IN:
175,000 people signed the "Stop the FCC" petition, 500,000 people contacted the FCC office, NRA sent 300,000 postcards, and the FCC website received 9,000 emails before the overload shut the site down for feedback.

OTHER VITAL FACTS:
A diverse and competitive media is an essential part of a working democracy. The whole idea is predicated on an informed citizenship. People are very upset at the idea of news controlled by a very few companies with political positions and agendas.

On June 2, the five-member FCC commission voted on changes that allow broadcast networks to buy more television stations and lifts the 28-year-old ban preventing newspapers from buying television stations in the same city.

More consolidation leads to fewer voices, making it difficult for minority viewpoints to be heard. Alliances have formed between liberal and conservative groups, opposing further deregulation.

American people own the airwaves, and broadcasters are to use them to serve the public interest.

Billion-dollar corporations who are buying up media:
a. Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp. which owns Fox, DirecTV, Weekly Standard, New York Post, 34 stations, and 20'th Century Fox movie and television studios.

b. Viacom, owner of CBS, MTV, and Viacom.

c. AOL Time Warner, owner of CNN, AOL.com, Time Inc, and Warner Brothers.

d. Clear Channel Communications, largest owner of radio stations in the U.S.

copyright 06/03/03 McClure & Trowbridge Publishing Ltd
[ref: Frank Ahrens Washington Post Staff Writer; moveon.org]
McClure & Trowbridge Publishing is a Nashville entertainment management and music publishing company. George McClure is a Grammy nominated producer and former NASA JSC research scientist.
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P.O. Box 70403
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