Martin Meets Press on His Birthday

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Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin, who celebrated his 39th birthday Wednesday, failed to a hold a press conference while he was 38. Short of a pre-arranged private audience, reporters need to corner him in public, which a few did Wednesday afternoon after he spoke at a downtown Washington, D.C., hotel. Following is an edited account:

Q: When will the new cable a la carte study surface?

A: I am not sure. It should be soon. They are still finalizing it, but it should be very soon, I think.

Q: When are we going to see the Adelphia merger?

A: I don’t even know the [Media] bureau’s current status on getting a lot of the responses to the questions.

Q: Are you concerned that the 180-day merger review period is 13 days past day 180?

A: I would say the commission is always concerned in trying to get things done as quick as it can. So sure. We didn’t quite make it in some of the other recent mergers that were in front of us. We’re always attempting to do it as quickly as possible and we will continue to on that one as well.”

Q: What about contract problems possibly holding up a cable family tier?

A: “I think we’re just going to wait and see what some of the plans are.”

Q: Reaction to new letter from nine House members asking FCC to examine retransmission consent in the context of the indecency debate.

A: “I saw a report on it today, but I haven’t had a chance to actually see that letter.”

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