Last week, Comcast highlighted how broken our policymaking is
when it hired a sitting FCC Commissioner to become one of its chief lobbyists,
just months after she rubber-stamped their merger with NBC-Universal. This
week, Comcast threatened to cut funding to a Seattle-based youth media
nonprofit after the organization tweeted about Comcast’s new hire:
@FCC Commissioner Baker voted 2 approve Comcast/NBC merger & is now lving
FCC for A JOB AT COMCAST?!?http://su.pr/1trT4z #mediajustice”
It’s hard to imagine that NBC would ever
broadcast just thirty minutes of local daily news on its network-owned stations
in places like New York City and Chicago.
That would simply be unacceptable.
But that’s exactly what NBC has done with the
Telemundo stations it owns in our nation’s largest Latino markets, located in our
nation’s largest cities, according to a study released this month by Free Press.
When I heard about AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, I got nervous. I fear the outcomes of greater concentration in the wireless market for all consumers, but I’m also a former AT&T customer who wrested myself away to T-Mobile just over a year ago. So this merger gets personal.
Yes, Jon Stewart, that was
fast. Last night, the Daily Show laid into
FCC Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker for taking
a job as a Comcast
lobbyists soon after approving the controversial Comcast/NBC-Universal merger.
Baker was nearly lobbying for
Comcast before she was officially offered a gig with the company. In January,
Baker not only voted to approve the massive media merger, she also chastised
the FCC for taking too long to deliberate on the merger. Now, she’s leaving the
FCC to take a title she's already earned: senior vice president of government
affairs (aka, head lobbyist).
It's the same old song – both on the radio, and in politics. Another mega media merger is looming. Radio giant Cumulus is attempting to acquire radio giant Citadel, giving Cumulus massive control over the airwaves, and leaving the public with even less choices in programming and music on the radio.
On Friday, Free Press filed comments with the Federal Communications Commission expressing doubt about the public interest benefits of the merger.
Late Wednesday night, it was revealed that Federal
Communications Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker was leaving her post to
become one of Comcast’s head lobbyists. This comes just four months after she
voted to approve that company’s massive takeover of NBC-Universal.
Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Attwell Baker will reportedly depart the agency in June to occupy a corner office at Comcast-NBC -- the company whose multi-billion mega-merger she approved just months ago.
Federal Communications Commissioner Meredith Atwell Baker will reportedly depart
the agency in June to occupy a corner office at Comcast-NBC -- the
company whose multi-billion mega-merger she approved just months ago.
In so doing she joins a long line of "public servants" who have spun
government jobs into gold at the expense of the American people they're
supposed to represent.
When people think about funding cuts and public media, they
usually think about NPR and PBS, but a recent report reveals that another vital
community media source is perhaps even more threatened: Public, Educational and
Governmental access stations, otherwise known as PEG stations.
There is now fresh data on the funding cuts and closures of PEG
access cable channels throughout the country, thanks to a study released by the
Buske Group and the Alliance for Communications Democracy in early April. The
study compared the funding of PEG access centers over a five year period between
2005 and 2010, uncovering the rapid erosion of a vital local resource.