National Media Reform Group Goes to the FCC Over Hawaii Raycom Media Takeover Deal

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BY HAWAII MEDIA COUNCIL – Free Press, the nation’s leading media reform organization, will bring the concerns of Hawaiians directly to the FCC, filing complaints about Raycom Media’s takeover of 3 TV stations in Hawaii.

More than one year ago, Media Council Hawaii (MCH) filed a complaint with the FCC seeking to stop the Raycom takeover of stations KGMB (CBS), KHNL (NBC) and KFVE (My TV). This complaint points to clear violations of FCC rules that are supposed to guarantee diversity of opinion, competition, and localism. To date, FCC rulings have made public financial details about the merger, but no action has been taken on the main complaint.

In addition the FCC has mandated that all filings in this matter must be delivered by hard copy, providing a significant barrier to the community’s ability to voice concerns about how the merger affects Hawaii.

Free Press, has made available, via the Internet, an “action page” that is designed to collect community input about the merger.  The Free Press Washington DC office will collect, print, and file hard copy of this commentary as part of the MCH docket, thus assuring FCC review. The action page may be found at http://act2.freepress.net/sign/honolulu/

“We welcome involvement by Free Press to help break the FCC’s bureaucratic barriers,” says Chris Conybeare, President of MCH. “It makes no sense that in the digital age, communities are required to file via hard copy. This is one more indication that the system is broken and badly tilted in favor of big broadcast companies over the needs and concerns of local communities. We urge the many affected by the Raycom deal to use this action page to tell the FCC how they feel about simulcast news and poor service to our community.

Free Press is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to reform the media.

According to Libby Reinish, Free Press program coordinator, “We are happy to be working with Media Council of Hawaii to ensure that the community’s voice is heard in this important debate. We hope the FCC will take notice of the thousands of signatures that will be delivered and we encourage it to take action on the complaint.”

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