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Free Press, Copps Want Field Hearings on Media Ownership

Invoking an unusual ally, Free Press cited former Republican FCC Chairman Kevin Martin in buttressing its call for public hearings on the FCC's latest quadrennial review of its media ownership rules.

The commission launched that proceeding Tuesday (May 25) with a notice of inquiry.

"The commission should hold meaningful public hearings, similar to those held by Chairman Kevin
Martin, to put a spotlight on media consolidation’s impact on local communities," asid Free Press
Policy Counsel Corie Wright in a statement.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps put in a pitch Tuesday for doing just that. "I hope that the commission will go on the road in the months ahead to hear directly from consumers and citizens. I know of no better way for us to educate ourselves about the problems faced by, and the solutions sought by, the American people."

Martin caught some grief despite holding those hearings, in part because he came out with a decision on newspaper cross-ownership without what some of that public felt was sufficient time to take all that input into account.