AFTRA Members Disappointed with FCC
Decision on Media Ownership Rules
Washington, DC, and Los Angeles, CA, June 21, 2006—American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) National Director of Legislative Affairs Thomas R. Carpenter made the following statement in response to the adoption by the Federal Communications Commission at its meeting today in Washington of a "Notice of Proposed Rulemaking," the first step in any new media ownership regulations:
"In just a few short days, over 1,200 AFTRA members called for openness and transparency of the FCC in embarking upon their review of media ownership rules. We are extremely disappointed that a majority of Commissioners declined to answer that call.
"The comment period provided for is far too brief to allow for meaningful public discourse. When the FCC intends to commission a number of studies to support proposed rule changes, the methodology and conclusions of those studies should be discussed and debated. Furthermore, without any notice of the FCC's intentions and without specific proposed rule changes submitted to public scrutiny, a 120-day time frame is simply inadequate for responding to this notice of inquiry in any meaningful way.
"Although we are somewhat gratified to see that the commission is willing to entertain public comments at field hearings, we strongly believe that holding only six hearings is insufficient to gauge the public response to these important questions.
"Though it appears that a majority of FCC commissioners have not listened to our concerns, our resolve has strengthened, and we fully intend to be heard. "
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists—affiliated with the AFL-CIO—is a diverse national union representing more than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters and recording artists in 32 Locals throughout the country. AFTRA members work as actors, broadcast journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians and disc jockeys in all aspects of the media industries including television and radio, sound recordings, commercials, industrial non-broadcast, interactive games and the Internet. For more information, visit www.aftra.com.