Media Localism Protection - National Legislation Introduced

Media Localism Protection - National Legislation Introduced

Posted July 27th, 2017 by seanm

Immediate Release
July 27, 2017

Access Humboldt applauds Rep. Huffman's Local and Independent Television Protection Act

Today, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Rep. David Price (D-NC) introduced the Local and Independent Television Protection Act to prevent further consolidation of absentee ownership in the broadcast TV marketplace nationwide. The legislation would close an obsolete, and recently re-opened, FCC loophole that would dramatically reduce competition and diversity among local TV stations across the country.

In a release from his office today, Rep. Huffman said, "Preventing monopolies in local media and turning back the tide of corporate consolidation has never been more vital than it is today."

Access Humboldt's executive director Sean Taketa McLaughlin said, "we applaud Rep. Huffman's leadership on this important issue and his action today introducing this important legislation."

Access Humboldt advocates for media localism as part of the mission "Local voices through community media." When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) moved to reopen the loophole (UHF Discount) , back in April 2017, within 24 hours of their action, Sinclair Broadcast Group announced their intention to acquire Bonten Media Group which operated 4 stations in the Eureka designated market area. At that time, Access Humboldt's executive director Sean McLaughlin said, "From experience we know that consolidated absentee ownership reduces competition, threatens media localism and harms information diversity."

On June 30th, the FCC approved the deal. Access Humboldt released a statement outlining concerns and concluding, "In sum, we’d like assurances that Sinclair will address the unique needs and local interests of remote rural/micropolitan communities such as Humboldt County and the North Coast region."
http://www.accesshumboldt.net/site/statement-regarding-sinclair-purchase...

And finally, Access Humboldt sent an Open Letter to Sinclair's management asking them to consider a range of actions to address local concerns and interests. That letter was published in the Eureka Times-Standard and the Mad River Union - available online here: http://www.accesshumboldt.net/site/open-letter-sinclair-broadcasting

For more information contact: Sean Taketa McLaughlin, c: 707-616-2381 or e: sean@accesshumboldt.net

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Access Humboldt is a non-profit, community media organization managing local cable franchise benefits on behalf of the County of Humboldt, California and the Cities of Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna, Rio Dell, Ferndale and Blue Lake. Community media resources include: cable access TV channels; a low-power FM radio station; a wide area broadband network with dedicated optic fiber connections to twenty locations serving local jurisdictions, educational institutions and other public facilities; broadband access wireless networks; a Community Media Center with studio and other production equipment and training on the Eureka High School campus; and ongoing operational support for public, educational and governmental access media services.

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