The FCC Chairman's 'Little Secret'
When dealing with a bureaucratic institution like the FCC,
process can often overshadow substance. While we should be
thoroughly debating changes unleashed by the FCC's upcoming
new media ownership plan, the task has been rendered
impossible thanks to Chairman Michael Powell's insistence to
not let anyone in on the secret until the Commissioners'
vote on June 2. Despite calls from a bi-partisan group of
members of Congress, and more recently over thirty recording
artists, to at least have a peek at the grand plan, the
Chairman's new media regime is likely to remain nothing more
than the speculation that has been littering the pages of
the press for the past few months, at least until its
This plan is so secret that even Commissioner Michael Copps,
who lets remember is to vote on it in a month, complained at
being left as much in the dark as the rest of us during the
University of Southern California Media Consolidation Forum.
"We don't know what we will be voting on. We don't have the
details, or even the broad configuration, of what the new
system will be."
To some extent, Michael Powell is trying to prevent a repeat
of the humiliating setbacks he suffered in recent rulings on
deregulating the local telephone sector. But the strategy of
secrecy is bound to backfire sooner or later, whether from
another revolt of the commissioners during the vote,
Congressional backlash or the inevitable court challenges
that are likely to delay its enactment beyond the next media
ownership rules review in 2004.
Related News from Mi2N:
» FCC Commissioner Copps Addresses USC Media Ownership Forum
» Artist Groups Insist Public Voices Be Heard On Proposed Media Ownership Rule Changes
» Statement From NAB President And CEO Edward O. Fritts On Sen. Mccain Bill Creating Tax Incentives For Broadcast Ownership Diversity
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