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AFTRA President Speaks Out Against Consolidation
of Media Ownership at Town Hall Meeting

LOS ANGELES (August 31, 2006) – Speaking out against proposals to relax regulations on media ownership, John P. Connolly, National President of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, testified before two members of the Federal Communications Commission as part of the FCC Town Hall Meeting sponsored by the National Latino Media Council at the University of Southern California. 
Commissioners Jonathan S. Adelstein and Michael J. Copps were on hand to receive public comments on the current re-write of FCC regulations governing media ownership. The commission is now considering rules that would effectively eliminate meaningful media ownership limits.

Connolly said, “As working media professionals throughout America, AFTRA members have seen first hand that consolidation of media ownership is doing irreparable harm to local and national news coverage and thus to the key fabric of democracy in our country. 

“By allowing the reduction of outlets for diverse opinions via the concentration of power in fewer and fewer corporate hands, the Federal Communications Commission condemns Americans to a country where the public interest suffers, democracy suffers, and working people suffer.

“AFTRA members oppose the continued de-regulation of the media and entertainment industries—and the resulting continued concentration of ownership in fewer hands. We urge the commission to protect and enhance the fundamental right and public interest of the American people as true owners of the airwaves.”