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Children Now's Lempert to Speak at L.A. Hearing on Media Ownership

Oct 03, 2006

Today, the Federal Communications Commission will hold its first public hearing in Los Angeles to discuss media ownership rules, which include changes to regulations governing the number of media outlets a single company may own.

Children Now, a leading nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to assuring all children thrive, and author of a landmark 2003 study on the impact of media consolidation on children’s programming in Los Angeles, will be on a panel at El Segundo High School to discuss how consolidation has negatively affected children’s programming in the area.

In brief, Children Now’s “Big Media, Little Kids” found that, from 1998 to 2003:

  • the number of hours each week devoted to children’s programming in Los Angeles decreased by more than 50 percent;
  • the largest decreases in these programming hours were on stations that are part of media duopolies (where one company owns two television stations in the same market);
  • most repurposing occurred between outlets that were owned by the same media companies.

“The public’s needs, particularly children’s needs, must be prioritized before commercial interests,” said Children Now President Ted Lempert, who will speak on today’s panel. “Children Now is hopeful our study and testimony today will help the FCC ensure that all children have access to diverse and educational programming.”

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