June 4, 2003 Wednesday
HEADLINE: HEARING OF THE SENATE COMMERCE, SCIENCE AND TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE
SEN. GEORGE ALLEN (R-VA): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. And thank you to all the FCC commissioners for appearing today. I agree with what Senator Breaux was saying in the sense that, first and foremost, the FCC has finally done what the Congress and indeed the courts have commanded them to do in adopting ownership rules that are based on empirical evidence. And you'll be presenting that empirical evidence. And I guarantee that it'll be challenged by the Congress, by rehearings, and in the courts.
But it is, I think, reflective of reality in the marketplace today. You've taken some steps in crafting updated rules. You take into account the new media outlets that are available to consumers for entertainment, for news and for information.
And indeed, I dare say that anyone would agree with the statement that now consumers have more access to information than any other time in our history. There are more TV stations. There are more radio stations. There's cable. There's over the air, of course. There's satellite. There's the Internet. And so, whether it's for local information, national or international, consumers have more choices.
I will be interested in hearing your justification, though, I will say to the members of the commission, on why small markets are treated differently than large markets. Running an operation in a small market without the same revenue is more difficult than in large markets, where you get more advertising revenue.
And I would insert into the record, Mr. Chairman, a story in yesterday's Wall Street Journal by Emily Nelson regarding small-market TV stations that are not pleased with the new FCC rules, because they have all the costs of technology, reporters and so forth, and they actually could benefit more if these rules were updated for small markets. And I look forward to hearing the testimony and rationale of this and other issues by the commissioners.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.