Free Press Pushes Comcast on Telemundo Commitments

On the same day that Comcast announced it was ramping up local news channels as part of its Federal Communications Commission commitments in the NBCU merger, Free Press released a report saying the company has to do a better job in local news to meet its merger obligations.

"No News Is Bad News: An Analysis of Comcast-NBC Universal Compliance with FCC Localism Conditions" focuses on Telemundo and says that Comcast did not properly report its programming to the FCC "obscuring the true nature and amount of programming being claimed as local news," in part by not describing in its filing any of the programs listed.

Free Press acknowledged that Comcast had announced plans to increase local programming (it did not say "news programming") in Dallas, Miami and California. But it pointed to the fact that no programming increases had been announced  on its Telemundo station, calling on Comcast to "commit to significantly improving local news production and distribution across all Telemundo stations."

"The companies are committed to having the Telemundo O&Os produce an additional 1,000 hours of news and information programming each year," NBC Local Media said Monday in announcing the news ramp-up in Dallas, Miami and California. It said details would be outlined this summer.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.