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AFTRA Members to Speak Out at Oct. 19
FCC Media Ownership Town Hall Meeting

                            Boston radio host to protest silencing of radio station WILD-FM

NEW YORK CITY (Oct. 18, 2006) – Federal Communications Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps will hear from members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and other community members at a town hall meeting Thursday that will focus on the impact of media consolidation on the news, information, and entertainment needs of communities of color.

Organized by a coalition of public interest groups, the Town Hall/Public Hearing on the Future of Diversity in the Nation’s Media is set for Thursday, October 19, at 6 p.m. in Hunter College Kaye Playhouse, located at East 68th Street between Park and Lexington avenues. The FCC commissioners will hear from the public and a panel of experts.

AFTRA member and former Boston radio host "Coach" Willie Maye will be a panel participant and will talk about how the silencing of radio station WILD-FM destroyed a valuable media outlet, which serviced a minority community in Boston.

“For decades, WILD radio served as the voice of the Black community in Greater Boston through its unique mix of local programming, news, and music,” said Maye. “Unfortunately, this heritage urban voice was abruptly silenced last month as the current owners plan to sell the station to another radio corporation that is interested only in the transmitter to enhance the signal of one of their current stations. The Federal Communications Commission is currently evaluating not only the sale of WILD, but also the rules governing corporate ownership of the public airwaves. With the sale of WILD, we have seen first-hand the impact of radio ownership consolidation on our community.”

Other panel participants include Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News columnist; Anthony Riddle, Alliance for Community Media executive director; Betty Ellen Berlamino, WPIX-TV vice president/general manager; Arlene Davila, New York University professor of anthropology and American studies; Mark W. Mason, CBS Radio Stations vice president of news programming and 1010 WINS Radio executive editor/program director; and Mona Mangan, Writer’s Guild of America East executive director.

AFTRA members also plan to attend the meeting and offer examples of how further relaxation of the FCC's media ownership rules will lead to disastrous consequences in New York City and communities around the country

This meeting is sponsored by the National Hispanic Media Coalition/National Latino Media Council, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the National Institute for Latino Policy.