Genachowski: FCC Is Monitoring Hearst/TWC, But Power Is Limited

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Tuesday he shares
concerns about the retrans
dispute between Time Warner Cable and Hearst,
and that the FCC is
monitoring the situation, but reiterated that the FCC's authority is limited.

Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) raised the issue at an FCC oversight hearing in the
House Communications Subcommittee Tuesday.

Bass said many New Hampshirites have awoken to a blue screen when the only
full-power network affiliate in the state went dark on the Time Warner Cable
system.

Bass said he had corresponded with the chairman over their agreement that
consumers were being harmed by the disputes, and pushed for an answer on when
the FCC would act on its proposals -- it has been over a year since they were
offered up.

The chairman said that under the "old laws" the FCC's authority is
limited, but reiterated that he was willing to work with Congress on whether
the law needed to be updated per changes in the marketplace.

When pressed again for an answer on when the FCC would complete its proceeding
on its proposed changes, Genachowski said he would need to get back to him,
saying again that the FCC's options are limited, but adding that the committee
should not wait for the FCC to act.

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