Goodmon Speaks on Congressional Panel

Goodmon Speaks on Congressional Panel

Jim Goodmon
CBC’s Jim Goodmon spoke to the Senate Commerce Committee.

CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon continued his campaign against the Federal Communications Commission’s possible de-regulation of the media scheduled for June. Goodmon appeared before the US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation on Tuesday, May 13, 2003. The WRAL Newschannel carried the panel hearing in full beginning at 9:30am.

The panel of media owners on which Goodmon participated testified in Washington on “the issue of whether the FCC should relax the rules of media ownership.” Goodmon appeared on the panel along with Viacom President & COO Mel Karmazin, Seattle Times Publisher Frank Blethen and Vice Chairman & CEO of Media News Group William Dean Singleton. Singleton also publishes the Denver Post and Salt Lake Tribune. Viacom owns the CBS network, of which Goodmon’s WRAL-TV is an affiliate.

Senator John McCain presided over the hearing. Other Senators on the panel presented questions to the panelists as well.

In a prepared statement, Goodmon argued that broadcasters have a duty to serve the public interest through localism, diversity and competition. He argued that lifting the 35% ownership cap will create fewer owners and drive local broadcasters out of business. He said that the only groups or organizations charged with local service are local broadcasters, that even with 500 cable channels you will probably never hear the name of your hometown but on the local station.

“We have a lot more channels nowadays,” he said, “but fewer voices.”

Goodmon went head to head with Karmazin, who argued for the lifting of the ownership cap. The two newspaper publishers on the panel also addressed the issues of the cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations that could be allowed by the loosening of the FCC’s current rules.

“We have a great system and we need to keep it in balance,” Goodmon said. “We need as many owners as possible.”

FCC Chairman Michael Powell and the four other commissioners are set to make a ruling on June 2, 2003.

For the complete text of the testimonies of Karmazin, Goodmon, Blethen & Singleton, click on their names on the Media Ownership Full Committee Hearing Witness List online.

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