Rainbow/PUSH founder Jesse Jackson will be among the witnesses at the House Communications Subcommittee's field hearing on the proposed Comcast/NBCU union July 8 in Chicago.
Jackson has long argued that media consolidation is a civil rights issue because of the power that control of media outlets confers on the owners/speakers, which for much of the history of radio and TV has included few African-American owners. at the table.
NBCU executive vice president and chief diversity officer Paula Madison and Joe Waz, senior vice president, external affairs and public policy council will represent their respective companies. Also on the witness list for the hearing will be Samuel DeSimone Jr., general counsel of Earthlink; Shirley Franklin, executive senior advisor, Alliance for Digital Equality; and Will Griffin, president, Hip Hop On Demand.
Comcast and NBCU have recently struck deals with minority groups to boost their Latino and African American-targeted recruitment, contracting, programming efforts, advertising, philanthropy and more.
The Federal Communications Commission will hold its own field "forum" in Chicago on July 13. It is not technically a field hearing, at which all the commissioners would be expected to attend, but will feature commissioners -- Michael Copps and Mignon Clyburn are expected to be there. There will also be a couple of panels and a chance for the public to weigh in.
The FCC has currently stopped the clock on its vetting of the proposed $30 billion joint venture between Comcast and NBCU after it said some of the responses by both companies to its request for information were incomplete. Comcast resubmitted its info last week.