As Comcast Files Merger Paperwork, Future Bleak for Local News

Comcast just filed its merger paperwork with the FCC. As part of its takeover, Comcast wants to get its hands on local NBC and Telemundo stations owned and operated by NBC across the nation. More media consolidation in local news is never a good thing, but this deal is particularly bad for certain communities.

NBC owns local stations in eleven communities that are already have Comcast cable and Internet service. If this merger goes through, in each community one company will control content online, on cable and over the airwaves.

Here are the stations that are in Comcast’s crosshairs:

  • New York City – NBC New York (WNBC)
  • Chicago – NBC Chicago (WMAQ) and Telemundo WSNS
  • Philadelphia – NBC Philadelphia (WCAU)
  • San Francisco – NBC Bay Area (KNTV) and Telemundo KSTS
  • Boston – Telemundo WNEU
  • Washington DC – NBC Washington (WRC)
  • Houston – Telemundo KTMD
  • Miami – NBC Miami (WTVJ) and Telemundo WSCV
  • Denver – Telemundo KDEN and KMAS
  • Hartford – NBC Connecticut (WVIT)
  • Fresno – Telemundo KNSO

Even though this merger promises to lead to higher prices, fewer choices and fewer local jobs – Comcast told the FCC today that the deal would be good for local communities. Free Press Executive Director Josh Silver responded to this false assertion, saying, “Comcast’s claims that this merger will benefit consumers are positively Orwellian. The idea that it is magically going to be consumer friendly after it gets bigger doesn’t pass the laugh test. Regulators at FCC and the Department of Justice should cut through the rhetoric and put a spotlight on the real problems with this kind of unprecedented media consolidation.”

Public pressure is building for the government to stop the Comcast takeover of NBC. Since the deal was announced, 24,000 Americans have already said they oppose it. Today we will be delivering those public complaints to the FCC, and Congress is scheduled to hold hearings on the proposed takeover on February 4, 2010.

To help stop the merger, and protect news and information for local communities, go to: http://www.freepress.net/comcast

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