TV wasteland chairman meets lay TV to waste chairman?


There are three interesting events on the FCC calendar next week. One is the monthly open meeting – well, if you’re a broadcaster, it isn’t so interesting. Another is a Friday appearance by all of the Commissioners at the House Communications Subcommittee. And then there’s a get-together between Chairman Julius Genachowski and former Chairman Newt Minow.

The National Press Club will be the scene of the meeting between FCC heads from different eras. It’s on the calendar for Monday evening, 5/9/11 from 7PM-8:15PM. Hosted by George Washington University’s Global Media Institute and the National Press Club’s Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library, it’s being called “From Wasteland to Broadband: A Conversation with Newton Minow and FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.”

Minow of course is the source of the infamous vast TV wasteland quote of yore; Genachowski has targeted spectrum in the television band for repurposing, and is meeting with stiff resistance by the broadcasting community.

The Thursday 5/12/11 open meeting includes three agenda items, none of which are of even remote interest to broadcasters.

The Communications hearing is a reschedule, and will be held Friday 5/13/11 at 9:30. It is simply called “FCC Process Reform.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Friday the 13th. Hmmm. Interesting day to hold an FCC grilling.

It is our understanding that Friday the 13th earned its reputation for being unlucky because it so happened that an organized and effective strike against the Knights Templar many centuries ago happened to come on a Friday the 13th.

But not to worry — such a thing would be impossible in modern day Washington DC, since there is no unanimity of thought on either the Commission or the Subcommittee, thus no unambiguous us versus them that would be a prerequisite for pursuit of such an extreme political tactic.

Plus the political rules of engagement these days put a lid on one side or the other’s ability to resort to physical means of persuasion.

We therefore believe that as intense as the grilling might get Friday morning, there is no reason for any of the FCC officials to come armed or armored.