DBS Starts Grassroots Campaign


EchoStar Communications Corp., DirecTV Inc. and DirecTV parent Hughes
Electronics Corp. began a small-town public-relations initiative this week
designed to talk up the benefits of the proposed direct-broadcast satellite

The companies are running ads in Salt Lake City; Helena, Mont.; and Madison,
Wis., touting the nationwide availability of local channels over satellite
following the merger.

In addition, PR executives from each of the three companies over the next six
weeks are traveling to more than one-dozen cities that would be unlikely to see
local signals via satellite unless the merger is approved.

The DBS representatives planned to meet with local mayors and community-group
leaders to talk up the strengths of the merger, DirecTV spokesman Bob Marsocci
said Wednesday.