Editorial: State(ment) of Union

Leave it to the Teamsters to drive home broadcasters’ argument against adding new “circumstances” to the FCC’s “totality of the circumstances test” for retransmission consent. The commission is under orders from Congress to review good faith negotiations, although not necessarily to change the system.

Last week, Teamsters president James Hoffa warned the FCC against messing with a system he said was working fine, and reduced it to its most elemental terms. If the FCC weakens broadcasters’ bargaining position, vis-à-vis multichannel video programming distributors, for broadcasters’ content, that would likely result in lower retrans fees. That could threaten jobs in the TV industry, some of which are held by Teamsters.

We’ll see if that advice is heeded.