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AFTRA Members Call for Congress to
Slow FCC Rewrite of Media Ownership Rules

LOS ANGELES (October 25, 2007)—More than 2,100 email messages from members of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have been sent to U.S. Representatives and Senators calling for Congress to “stop the FCC from fast tracking the relaxation of media ownership regulations.”

AFTRA members began emailing Congress last Friday after news reports indicated that Federal Communications Commission chair Kevin Martin was planning to have a FCC vote by December 18 to end the remaining media ownership regulations.

The AFTRA National Board of Directors also called on the FCC to not rush ruling on regulations for media ownership. At its meeting Saturday, the AFTRA National Board voted to “call on the commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission to abandon plans to ‘fast track’ media ownership regulations, to call for additional study and public comment, and to oppose any relaxation of the rules and regulations governing media ownership.”

The motion by the AFTRA National Board and the email campaign by AFTRA members is part of the ongoing effort by AFTRA to support rulemaking by the FCC that does not allow further consolidation of media ownership. Over the past year, AFTRA members and staff have attended FCC public hearings across the country, provided testimony at hearings, and filed public comments with the FCC.

AFTRA members can still send messages to Congress at http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/STOPconsolidation. 

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[Text of email message to Senators and U.S. Representatives]

It's been reported that Federal Communications Commission chair Kevin Martin is planning to have an FCC vote by December 18 to end the remaining media ownership regulations.

I am writing you to urge you to take steps to slow down the FCC from rewriting rules on media consolidation.

The consolidation of media ownership by giant corporations eliminates diverse and local sources of news, music, and entertainment programming, which critically affects the jobs, lives, and communities of AFTRA members like me. As conglomerates combine media outlets across America, we have seen:

• Decreased coverage of local issues and fewer editorial perspectives in news
• Fewer and less diverse opportunities for actors as the last remaining independent producers struggle to survive
• Homogenization and disappearance of radio formats
• Elimination of opportunities for airplay for recording artists

Please stop the FCC from fast tracking the relaxation of media ownership regulations.

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About AFTRA:
The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, AFL-CIO, are the people who entertain and inform America. More than 70,000 professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists are moving forward together through AFTRA to protect and improve our jobs, lives, and communities. AFTRA members embrace change in society—from new culture to new technology—and incorporate change in our work and craft. AFTRA celebrates and thrives on the diversity of our members and the work we do. AFTRA opens a whole new world of opportunities for success for professional performers, broadcasters, and recording artists. In 32 Locals across the country, AFTRA members work as actors, journalists, dancers, singers, announcers, hosts, comedians, disc jockeys, and other performers across the media industries including television, radio, cable, sound recordings, music videos, commercials, audio books, non-broadcast industrials, interactive games, the Internet, and other digital media. Visit AFTRA at www.aftra.com.
  


 


GS