Fritts Fears Ongoing Big-Media Backlash


National Association of Broadcasters president Edward Fritts fears that public opposition to large media companies that began last year could continue on Capitol Hill this year.

According to minutes from an NAB board meeting in Key Biscayne, Fla., which ended Wednesday, Fritts argued that Federal Communications Commission media policies adopted in June "activated a revolt against `Big Media' that could spill over into the current session of Congress." He was not specific about his concerns.

Although many in the public and Congress think the FCC liberalized ownership rules too much, the NAB is fighting in court for greater deregulation, trying to kill a rule that bars one top-four-rated TV station from merging with another top-four TV outlet in the same local market.

Fritts said the media-ownership debate "prompted an even greater need for broadcasters to aggressively promote" their public-service contributions.