Everyone Wave Goodbye To Outgoing FCC Chief Kevin Martin

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is calling it quits as of inauguration day. The Chairman, who could have served for three more years, is heading to the Aspen Institute, a preserve for endangered spectacles masquerading as a “nonprofit leadership group.” Martin’s tenure was a mixed bag for consumers…

Fail: Giant Metaphor For Digital TV Transition Performs As Expected

Fail: Giant Metaphor For Digital TV Transition Performs As Expected

The Federal Communications Commission and its benevolent overlord, Mr. Kevin Martin, recently spent $350,000 to sponsor a NASCAR team for 3 races. The “Digital TV Transition Ford” sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission crashed during its inaugural NASCAR race Sunday afternoon, says the WSJ.

FCC Plans Road Trip To Educate America About Digital TV

FCC Plans Road Trip To Educate America About Digital TV

…the five FCC Commissioners and other Commission staff will fan out to [selected] markets to raise awareness and educate consumers.

FCC Chairman Says Comcast "Violated Our Principles" By Arbitrarily Blocking Internet Traffic

FCC Chairman Says Comcast "Violated Our Principles" By Arbitrarily Blocking Internet Traffic

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told the Associated Press yesterday that Comcast had “violated our principles” when it came to managing their network. He accused Comcast of arbitrarily blocking internet traffic and failing to disclose to consumers that it was doing so.

In Early Termination Fee Hearing, FCC Chief Regurgitates Wireless Industry Proposals

In Early Termination Fee Hearing, FCC Chief Regurgitates Wireless Industry Proposals

The FCC held hearings today to discuss early termination fees (ETF) for wireless carriers, the ~$175 charged if a customer exits contract before the contract is up. FCC Chairman Kevin “Golden Child” Martin’s proposals largely mirrored those offered by the carriers themselves last month. Here’s what he said today:

Senate Committee Votes To Rollback FCC's Media Consolidation Plan

Senate Committee Votes To Rollback FCC's Media Consolidation Plan

Poor Kevin Martin. The Senate is well on its way towards killing his proposal to let newspapers get all freaky and consolidate with television and radio stations. Martin shouldn’t be too surprised: this is exactly what happened the last time a FCC Chairman tried to ram media consolidation down our throats.

FCC Probably Powerless To Fine ABC Over Diane Keaton's "Fucking Personality"

FCC Probably Powerless To Fine ABC Over Diane Keaton's "Fucking Personality"

Diane Keaton, while appearing live on “Good Morning America,” told Diane Sawyer that she’s admired her looks, particularly her lips, saying “that if she had lips like that she wouldn’t have had to work on her ‘fucking personality’ and would be married by now.” Obviously, Diane Keaton is awesome, but FCC chairman Kevin Martin is notoriously fond of attempting to punish stations that allow free spirited celebrities to slip in a few “shits” and “fucks” into their live television appearances.

Liveblogging The Media Consolidation Showdown Between The FCC And The Senate Commerce Committee

Liveblogging The Media Consolidation Showdown Between The FCC And The Senate Commerce Committee

Join us at 10 a.m. for the FCC’s showdown with the Senate Commerce Committee. The hearing comes one day after Democratic Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps pilloried Chairman Kevin Martin’s plan to allow one company to control a newspaper and television or radio station in the same city as: “a mish-mash of half-baked ideas.”

Liveblogging The Media Consolidation Showdown Between The FCC And The House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee

Liveblogging The Media Consolidation Showdown Between The FCC And The House Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee

Starting today at 9:30 a.m. the House will drag FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and his colleagues before the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee to explain their misguided and widely-criticized media consolidation plan that would allow one company to control several radio and television stations in the same city. The hearing comes two days after John Dingell (D-MI,) who will be chairing the hearing, accused Martin of abusing his power and intentionally keeping his fellow Commissioners in the dark. Just yesterday, the Senate Commerce Committee voted to ban the FCC from moving forward with their planned vote until they first complete a comprehensive study of broadcasters’ commitment to local news and ownership opportunities for women and minorities.

FCC Chairman Takes Aim At Cable Monopolies

FCC Chairman Takes Aim At Cable Monopolies

Newly emboldened FCC Chairman Kevin Martin plans to wield the Cable Communications Act of 1984 to shatter the cable industry’s anti-competitive practices. The proposed regulations would give consumers flexible, diverse programming at cheaper rates, while capping the cancerous growth of conglomerates like Comcast and Time Warner.

The commission is preparing to take steps to make it less expensive for rivals of the largest cable conglomerates to buy their programs — so that, for instance, a satellite company would find it less expensive to purchase programs by the Turner Broadcasting System, a unit of Time Warner.

Media Consolidation Is Bad For Everyone

Media Consolidation Is Bad For Everyone

Bill Moyers produced an excellent segment on media consolidation and its disproportionate impact on minorities. African Americans and Hispanics account for over a quarter of the population, but own just 33 of the nation’s 1,350 television stations, and only 6% of radio stations. According to Melody Spann-Cooper, owner of Chicago’s only black-owned radio station:

Radio has moved from being in the business of empowering and educating people to Wall Street, to making money. And that’s not the big corporate conglomerates, you know, that’s not their fault. They were allowed to do this.

FCC Chairman To Relax Media Ownership Rules

FCC Chairman To Relax Media Ownership Rules

Media conglomerates are preparing to feast on a banquet of local media outlets thanks to a resurrected proposal from FCC Chairman Kevin Martin. The Chairman wants to relax decades-old rules that bar media companies from owning both a newspaper and TV or radio station in the same local market. A similar proposal was presciently struck down three years ago by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.

“Currently, a company can own two television stations in the larger markets only if at least one is not among the four largest stations and if there are at least eight local stations. The rules also limit the number of radio stations that a company can own to no more than eight in each of the largest markets.

FCC Talks "A La Carte" Cable

FCC Talks "A La Carte" Cable

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin thinks your cable bill is too high.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin Suspects "Astroturfing" By Cable Companies

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin Suspects "Astroturfing" By Cable Companies

la carte cable is really the result of a well-organized lobbying effort by the cable companies.

FCC Proposes New Rules To Further "Unlock" Cellphones

FCC Proposes New Rules To Further "Unlock" Cellphones

Sick of boring handsets with crippled features? So is FCC chairman Kevin Martin. He’s proposing “sweeping new rules” that would apply to the 700mhz spectrum that is soon to be vacated as television goes digital. What will the new rules be?

Under Martin’s proposal, to be circulated in the agency as early as Tuesday, mobile services in these airwaves would have to allow consumer choice.

FCC Chairman Orders Telecoms To Restore Access To Free Iowa-Based Conference Call Providers

FCC Chairman Orders Telecoms To Restore Access To Free Iowa-Based Conference Call Providers

The Chairman of the FCC, Kevin Martin, has issued a stern rebuke to the telecoms that blocked their subscribers from accessing free Iowa-based conference call providers. Quoth the Chairman:

We actually contacted the companies that were listed in the press [reports] and said our rules prohibit you from blocking consumers’ access to any of the service providers… One had stopped blocking, but we heard complaints the next week that they were restricting access, sort of narrowing the pipe. We called them back and said, no, no, you can’t artificially degrade [service] either.

We think you should celebrate this reversal with your friends on a free Iowa-based conference call. If the service is blocked, or in any way degraded, don’t hesitate to fill out the FTC’s consumer complaint form. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Verizon Drops Baseless DSL Fee After FCC Pressure

Verizon Drops Baseless DSL Fee After FCC Pressure

Nine days after installing a new “supplier surcharge” fee to essentially replace one government regulators dropped, Verizon DSL decided to stop levying the fee. Verizon came under heat from customers and received a letter from the FCC asking it to explain its actions. BellSouth, which also received a FCC letter, announced it would drop a similar charge.