"Online since 1999"

The Times Picayune
Monday, September 22, 2003


Re: "Senate votes to repeal new FCC rules," Page A-4, Sept. 17.

     Cheers to Sen. Mary Landrieu for voting to repeal the new regulations that would make it easier for the nation's largest media corporations to expand even further. Likewise, shame on Sen. John Breaux for voting to allow it.

     Colin Powell's son Michael is the Republican chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (Gee, I wonder how he got that job) and architect of the rules. To see him on TV bleating the corporate mantra that "further deregulation is good and will result in more diversity" is such a crock. John Breaux, another supporter of corporate gluttony, says the "big is bad, small is good" opinion of the critics is "obviously simplistic."

     Michael Powell and John Breaux apparently think people are stupid and keep hoping their lies will be swallowed without question. Deregulation of media ownership is a spreading cancer that must be stopped.

How can big corporations owning a huge chunk of the radio and TV stations in the same market bring diversity?

     True diversity existed up to a few years ago, when the 30 radio stations and five TV stations in New Orleans were held by 35 different owners, each with a different idea on how to entertain its audience and truly serve their community. The rainbow of media ownership and programming has been replaced by a black hole, sucking in everything it can.

     All this is happening while corporations tout their dedication to the community and yet are replacing on-air personalities with annoying recorded voice tracking and boring, cookie-cutter programming whenever they acquire properties.

     As a retired local radio DJ, I know how good radio has been, and how good it can be. So, dammit, John Breaux, don't tell me how good radio will be if these corporations are allowed to take over even more of our stations! I am not a fool.

Bob Walker