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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Copps’

House May Pass Anti-’Fairness Doctrine’ Legislation

House Speaker John Boehner says he and other Republicans plan on passing legislation meant to ensure that the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” will not be revived… this despite the fact that no one in a real position of power wants to revive it.

Broadcasting & Cable‘s John Eggerton explains:

Boehner said that for fans of the doctrine, “it’s fair to silence ideas and voices they don’t agree with, and use the tools of government to do it…Our new majority is committed to seeing that the government does not reinstate the fairness doctrine. Congressman [Greg] Walden has teamed up with another former broadcaster, Congressman Mike Pence of Indiana, to introduce legislation to help keep the airwaves free. I expect the House to act on this measure.”

Of course, the doctrine was killed in 1987, and both President Obama and his FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski say they have no interest in reviving it.

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Done Deal: FCC, Department of Justice Approve Comcast-NBC Universal Acquisition

More than a year after it was first proposed, the Federal Communications Commission and U.S. Department of Justice have signed off on the Comcast-NBC Universal deal. The takeover will go into effect January 28, following the company’s next pay cycle.

With the deal complete, Comcast will control 51% of the company, with General Electric becoming a minority shareholder.

The deal’s approval means that NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker will be leaving the company, though his last day has not yet been announced. Zucker said back in September that he would leave NBC Universal once Comcast completed the acquisition.

Both the FCC and DOJ have attached conditions to the deal, though the details of those conditions were not immediately available.

The FCC vote was 4-1, with Commissioner Michael Copps the only opposing vote. In a letter explaining why he voted against the deal, he said that he wanted one of the conditions to be more funding for NBC’s news division:

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FCC Commissioner: ‘I Think the American Media Has a Bad Case of Substance Abuse Right Now’

FCC commissioner Michael Copps appeared on BBC World News America last night, and he had some harsh things to say about television news.

In the interview with BBC Washington correspondent Katty Kay, Copps argues that the current state of discussion could be harmful to democracy:

“It’s a pretty serious situation that we’re in. I think American media has a bad case of substance abuse right now. We are not producing the body of news and information that democracy needs to conduct its civic dialogue, we’re not producing as much news as we did five years, 10 years, 15 years ago and we have to reverse that trend or I think we are going to be pretty close to denying our citizens the essential news and information that they need to have in order to make intelligent decisions about the future direction of their country.”

Later, Kay asks Copps about the FCC creating a “Public Value Test” to determine whether the content being produced “in the public interest” by broadcasters is really so:
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