The FCC on Friday announced the details of the next multiple ownership field hearing to be held in Nashville on December 11. As in the October hearing in Los Angeles, the hearing focuses both on the specifics of the local market, as well as an industry segment and how consolidation has affected that segment. In Los Angeles, the hearing focused on television program production companies. In Nashville, the focus will be on the music industry, and the impact that media consolidation has on that industry.
As many will remember, after the FCC adopted its short-lived relaxation of the ownership rules in 2003, many in the music community argued that media consolidation adversely affected the ability of new artists to get their music played on the radio. In the localism proceeding which followed the 2003 order, the FCC asked questions about whether local artists were able to get airplay on radio stations, and whether stations should be required to include some amount of local music content on their stations. These questions are sure to be aired in Nashville at the December 11 hearing.