The Commission has announced the next in its series of media ownership workshops, this one to address financial issues facing the media industry. The workshop, part of the Commission’s 2010 quadrennial review of its ownership rules, will be held on January 12, 2010 at the FCC, and will address, in the FCC’s words: "the current financial and economic conditions and marketplace factors affecting the media industry and how the FCC should take these into account as it conducts its review process." While the Commission has not identified the forum participants, today’s Public Notice states that the session will consist of two panels, one to hear from smaller broadcasters in smaller markets, as well as the financial institutions that serve them, and the second to address larger broadcasters in larger markets and the institutions that serve the larger broadcasters.
Given the seemingly increasing pressures on the broadcast industry, it would seem critical that broadcasters actively participate in both this workshop and the Commission’s 2010 review of its ownership rules to ensure that the FCC has an accurate picture of the state of the media landscape as it reviews its ownership rules. This forum, and indeed the rule making proceeding as a whole, is meant to examine whether and how the FCC’s media ownership rules affect the financial health of broadcasters, the consideration that lending institutions give to the rules when making funding determinations, and how to consider the financial conditions when setting Commission policy in this area. A copy of today’s Public Notice announcing the upcoming forum can be found here.