Allbritton Pushes Comcast/NBCU Concerns At FCC

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Allbritton Communications executives continued to get facetime with the Federal Communications Commission Friday to make their case that the agency needs to either condition the Comcast/NBCU deal to protect local market competition or reject it.

According to ex parte filings obtained by Multichannel News, Allbritton president Fred Ryan and outside antitrust counsel Rick Rule met with FCC commissioner Robert McDowell on Aug. 13 to discuss their grave concerns about Comcast's market power if it combines with NBCU, particularly the impact on the D.C. market, where Allbritton owns WJLA TV and NewsChannel 8 (which is being renamed TBD TV).

On Aug. 11, Allbritton CEO Robert Allbritton met with FCC chairman Julius Genachowski to discuss the "potentially ominous" implications for NewsChannel 8. The conversation included the online access issue, according to Allbritton, with the company talking about the potential for Comcast to favor its Web sites over politico.com or TBD.com.

Senior vice president Jerald Fritz told MCN that they want to make sure that "nothing is done to kill off NewsChannel 8," and that the company has "serious concerns" about about the access to online issue.

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