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An overview of information on the Federal Communication Commission Localism Task Force's upcoming presentation of a public hearing on proposed media consolidation rules, and how the proposed changes will impact San Antonio.

 
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What: The Federal Communication Commission's Localism Task Force conducts a public hearing on proposed media consolidation rules and how they will impact San Antonio.

When: Wednesday, January 28, 5:30-9:30pm

Where: City Council Chambers, Main and Commerce streets. Seating inside is limited to 275. The hearing will be webcast via the FCC website (www.fcc.gov) and also cablecast on the Government Channel 21.

Who will attend: FCC Chairman Michael Powell and Commissioners Kathleen Abernathy, Michael Copps, and Jonathan Adelstein. There also will be panelists, many of them representing the industry. The public will also be allowed time to comment. A hearing was held in Charlotte, North Carolina last fall. Minutes of that meeting are available at www.fcc.gov. In the search box, type "localism Charlotte minutes."

Why: New FCC rules - passed by the commission on June 2, 2003, but stuck in the courts since last fall - allow companies to own more TV stations within a market, own broadcast television stations and newspapers in the same market, and further narrow the number of voices and viewpoints within the media.
Since the FCC passed the rules, the commission has received more than 2.3 million calls, e-mails, and letters from citizens opposing the new regulations.
Media ownership rules governing radio stations have been relaxed since the 1996 Telecommunications Act, which eliminated the cap on the number of radio stations a company could own.

Extra information: San Antonio is one of six U.S. cities to host these hearings; For additional information about the hearing or the Localism Task Force, go to www.fcc.gov/localism, call 202-418-7777, or e-mail localism@fcc.gov.
There will be two teach-ins: January 22, from 7-9 p.m. at Fuerza Unida, 710 New Laredo Hwy., and Saturday, January 24, from 7-9 p.m. at Café Revolución, 521 El Paso. A rock show will follow. On January 28, the Central Labor Council will also release a study analyzing the effects of Clear Channel ownership on U.S. communities.

In this issue and on January 22, the Current will cover various issues concerning media consolidation.

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