Rainbow/PUSH founder Jesse
Jackson will be among the witnesses at the House Communications Subcommittee's
field hearing on the Comcast/NBCU deal July 8 in Chicago.
Jackson has long arguedthat media consolidation is a civil rights issue because of the power thatcontrol of media outlets confers on the owners and speakers, which for much of
the history of radio and TV included few African American owners at the table.
NBCU EVP and Chief
Diversity Officer Paula Madison and Joe Waz, Comcast senior VP, external
affairs and public policy council, will represent their respective companies.
Also on the witness list for the hearing will be Samuel DeSimone Jr., general
counsel of Earthlink; Shirley Franklin, executive senior advisor, Alliance for
Digital Equality; and Will Griffin, president, Hip Hop On Demand.
Comcast and NBCU haverecently struck deals with minority groups to boost their Latino and AfricanAmerican-targeted recruitment, contracting, programming efforts, advertising,philanthropy and more.
The FCC will hold its own
field "forum" in Chicago only five days later (July 13). It is not
technically a field hearing, at which all the commissioners would be expected
to attend, but will feature commissioners (FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and
Mignon Clyburn are expected to be there), as well as a couple of panels and a
chance for the public to weigh in.
The FCC has currently
stopped the clock on its vetting of the proposed $30 billion joint venture
between Comcast and NBCU after it said some of the responses by both companies
to its request for information were incomplete. Comcast resubmitted its infolast week.
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