The announcement drew immediate fire from opponents of the proposals, who charged the short notice is part of a plan by the commission's Republican majority to short-circuit public involvement and push major changes through before Christmas. "It shows there is a preordained outcome," FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, the two Democrats on the five-member board, said in a statement.
Times publisher Frank Blethen has been an outspoken critic of media ownershiop concentration, which is highly unusual for a newspaper owner. The American Journalism Review profiled him a few years back as "The Gadfly." Blethen was in the forefront of opposition to the FCC's 2003 attempt to roll back the cross-ownership ban, noted AJR.
Blethen says the public finally is getting fed up with this cynical media environment, which puts the news consumer dead last in the pecking order. "There's this level of arrogance that comes when these companies get so big, and so out of touch," he says. "I think that's important because they keep throwing fuel on the fire. They can't help themselves."This should be interesting.