Goodmon Releases Statement about FCC Vote

Goodmon Releases Statement about FCC Vote

Jim Goodmon
CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon spoke against the FCC’s probable vote before the Senate Commerce Committee.

CBC President & CEO Jim Goodmon released the following statement to the press on Monday, June 2, 2003, after the FCC voted to relax media ownership rules. The FCC Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of the motion, along party lines.

Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc.
Response to FCC Deregulation
“The Emperor Has No Clothes”

Raleigh – James F. Goodmon, President/CEO of Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc., today expressed grave concern for the Federal Communications Commission’s total abandonment of the public interest in favor of special interests when it voted to relax its media ownership rules. “Chairman Powell obviously began this proceeding knowing the end game, manipulating the process where necessary,” said Goodmon. “Unfortunately, the public is the big loser – as owners of the airwaves, as citizens of the United States, and as viewers concerned about their local communities. Raising the national television ownership cap to 45% is disastrous for localism, diversity and competition.”

“The emperor has no clothes. This process has been flawed from the beginning and it is flawed in the end. The public and Congress have been ignored. The new rules were passed for the benefit of large broadcasting conglomerates, large newspapers and their investment bankers with virtually no public support. Now we are pleased to move to a new forum for this debate – a forum that involves elected officials accountable to the public – the U.S. Congress.”

Goodmon stated that one of the most disturbing features of the new rules is the continuation of the UHF discount in calculating the national television ownership cap. “This is the one rule that should be eliminated based upon marketplace changes. It is completely without merit. In effect, the national television ownership cap is NOT a 45% rule, but a 90% rule. I was very disappointed with Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree’s comment regarding what happens when the UHF discount sunsets at the end of the digital transition. Ferree stated that a future commission would make the decision on what happens to those companies that are over the cap. Unfortunately, historically, the Commission has favored grandfathering over divestiture.” Goodmon also noted that the UHF discount is inconsistent with the way UHF stations are treated in the cross-ownership rules.

“We are very grateful to our North Carolina Congressional delegation, including Senators Dole and Edwards and Representatives Ballenger, Burr, Etheridge, Hayes, Jones, McIntyre, Miller, and Price for supporting S.1046 and H.R. 2052 that will codify the national television ownership cap at 35%.”

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