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AFTRA National President John Connolly
to Join Panel Discussion at FCC Hearing in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 29, 2006) -- AFTRA National President John Connolly will join a panel discussion at the October 3 Federal Communications Commission public hearing on media ownership regulations in Los Angeles.

The panel discussion, titled, “Creative Community/Independent Programming,” will take place during Part One of the October 3 public hearing the FCC is holding to hear comments to help guide its review of regulations governing how many television stations, radio stations, broadcast networks, and newspapers can be owned by any single company. Two years ago, the federal courts rescinded sweeping changes proposed by the FCC that would have substantially loosened media ownership rules.

"I am proud to be representing broadcasters, performers, and recording artists before the FCC,” said President Connolly. “This is an important opportunity for us in the creative community to make our voices heard and fight further media consolidation. By allowing the reduction of outlets for diverse opinions and voices through the concentration of power in fewer and fewer corporate hands, the FCC risks condemning Americans to a country where the public interest suffers, democracy suffers, and working people suffer.”

Other panelists include: Stephen Cannell, Member, Caucus of Television Producers, Writers & Directors; Taylor Hackford, Third Vice President, Directors Guild of America; Anne-Marie Johnson, National First Vice President, Screen Actors Guild; Patric
Verrone, President Writers Guild of America, West; Mona Mangan, Executive Director, Writers Guild of America, East; Marshall Herskovitz, President, Producers Guild of America; Mike Mills, Bassist for R.E.M., Member, Recording Artists’ Coalition; Brandon Burgess, CEO, Ion Media Networks; Tim Winter, President-Elect, Parents Television Council.

The FCC will meet from 1 to 4:30 pm at the USC Davidson Conference Center and from 6:30 to 10 pm at El Segundo High School. After hearing a panel discussion at both sites, the commissioners will take testimony from the public. At the hearing on Oct. 3, AFTRA performers, broadcasters, and recording artists will provide personal examples of the effects of consolidation in the workplace.

The effort to mobilize AFTRA members to participate in the Oct. 3 hearing is latest in actions over the last decade to stop consolidation of media ownership by corporations. For more information, check out