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HuffPo: Dinosaur Broadcasters Don't Deserve Spectrum

Huffington Post has an essay saying broadcasters are a dying breed, and the dinosaurs who own broadcasting assets have no right to the broadcast spectrum.

The essay is written by John M. Eger, a communications and public policy professor a San Diego State. Despite the similarities of their names, do not confuse John Eger with our own Washington bureau chief, John Eggerton. John Eggerton would never write this essay.

Eger writes:

Admittedly there was a time when broadcaster took the “public “role seriously.

Each year they interviewed community leaders, talked with community groups, heard all the community’s complaints and “ascertained” the issues — hopes and dreams — that the community most cared about. The stations then programmed in such a manner that those issues were aired. Each year, and at the time of the station’s “license renewal,” they would tell the FCC how they had served the community.

This obligation slowly faded away.

The Huffington Post was all over the news earlier this month when it was acquired by AOL. Eger’s essay is rife with typos; hopefully AOL will enact stricter copyediting processes, or spell-check at the very minimum.

Concludes Eger:

The net, net is that the public interest concept of broadcasting is gone.

Yet, broadcasters are occupying about $ 70 billion dollars of frequency spectrum. The resale and reallocation, analysts say, represents another one trillion dollars in new revenue.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.