TNG, Allies to FCC: Listen First, Act Later on Media Ownership Rules

TNG-CWA President Bernie Lunzer was among featured speakers, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, on a press call Wednesday to demand that the FCC hold public hearings before rushing into another damaging rollback of media ownership rules.

"People need more time to talk about what kind of media they want and what kind of policy affects that," Lunzer said, stressing that everyone has a stake in diverse news coverage, diversity in hiring and diverse ownership of media companies. Currently, women own less than 7 percent of all broadcast outlets and people of color own just 3.6 percent of all TV stations and only 8 percent of radio stations. Much of the rest are controlled by media monopolies.

The lack of diversity would get even worse under the new rules, which would allow a single company to own a daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in a single market. The company could also be a community's Internet provider.

"Our democracy is supposed to be bottom up, not top down," Jackson said. "When too few people own too much media, it is not healthy."

For more information about what's being proposed and what's at stake, go to

To listen to the news conference, click here.