BEST EVENT THAT SHOULD’VE BEEN ON C-SPAN

FCC Hearing at TBPAC

On April 30, the Federal Communications Commission threw together a public hearing (with only a couple of weeks’ notice) at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center to ask citizens if they are happy with media in Tampa Bay. The fourth of only six public hearings across the nation, it was meant to gauge public opinion on two major issues: cross-ownership, allowing TV stations to own newspapers, which has been illegal since the ’70s (Media General, which owns The Tampa Tribune and Channel 8, was grandfathered in); and fur-ther deregulation of media consolidation. Citizens were given two minutes or less to speak on the matter. Most argued against the grow-ing media monolith. What remains to be seen is whether the FCC was actually listening — they are the public airwaves, after all — or merely going through the motions.

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