Bloomberg Buttonholing

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Looks like FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski could not escape the long arm of the Comast/NBCU merger even during a trip to New York Oct. 27 to attend a UBS luncheon and (sniff) the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame dinner.The chairman could not make the dinner portion of that trip after what looked like it might be a break in the Fox/Cablevision retrans impasse. The FCC had been monitoring the negotiations closely and he needed to huddle with his staff.

According to an ex parte filing just posted on the FCC’s Web site, the chairman was buttonholed at the UBS event by Daniel Doctoroff, president of Bloomberg. The news organization has been battling hard for conditions on the deal to insure Comcast does not favor its presumably soon-to-be co-owned CNBC over Bloomberg’s own TV operation.

“The meeting occurred during a widely attended luncheon,” Bloomberg said, adding that “there had been no meeting requested.”

Doctoroff told the chairman that Bloomberg has invested “substantially” in order to compete head to head with CNBC, but that the merger “changed the competitive situation” and needed to be structured “so as to permit competition.”

Bloomberg said it did not think it even needed to mention the encounter, but did so out of an “abundance of caution.”