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NAB, Common Cause to Square Off at Hill Hearing

The House Communications Subcommittee has released the witness list for its media ownership hearing Sept. 25, Broadcast Ownership in the 21st Century, which will feature that National Association of Broadcasters in one corner and media consolidation opponent Common Cause in the other.

The hearing will feature one panel with a half dozen witnesses. They are:

Gerry Waldron, an attorney with Covington & Burling, representing the NAB; Todd O'Boyle, Common Cause; Kim Keenan, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council; Michael Scurato, National Hispanic Media Coalition; Jason Kint, Digital Content Next; and Paul Boyle, senior VP, Newspaper Association of America (NAA).

NAA has been broadcasters chief ally in the push to get the FCC to lift the newspaper-broadcast crossownership limits, which even past FCC chairs from both parties have said should be lifted and would have been were it not for pressure from Congress, which fears the power of combined local media at election time.

Communications Subcommittee chair Greg Walden (R-Ore.) is himself a former broadcaster sympathetic to the argument that loosening the rules could help them better compete in a multichannel world.