Mikey Powell, Document-Shredder

During the FCC’s mostly-failed media ownership revision-quest of 2003, the agency cooked up a bunch of “research” to justify trying to let big media grow even bigger. However, one report with real integrity never made it out the door.

mikeymodelsThe agency’s Media Bureau studied local television news coverage, and tallied up the amount of actual local news stations produced, and correlated that to station ownership. It turns out that locally-owned stations produce as much as 33 hours more local news per year than stations owned by chains or networks. The study also concluded that cross-ownership – the ownership of a TV station and/or newspaper and/or radio by one company in a single market – did nothing to enhance a TV station’s local news coverage. In fact, cross-owned properties more often than not produce less local news. Read More

FCC Does Media Ownership Redux

On June 28 the FCC voted to restart its project to revise its media ownership rules. The formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to begin this process was released last week. The agency last tried to do this in 2003, but most of its proposed changes were blocked by court order in 2004.

The last time around was a near-disaster. Then-chairman Mikey Powell tried to ram through a christmas-load of changes that would have let large media conglomerates get much larger. The FCC tried to use hopelessly biased “research” to justify industry moguls’ wet dreams. Millions of people cried foul on the scheme, and it still took the courts to stop it. Read More

Powell Pimps Invasive Adverts

Former FCC chairman Mikey Powell joins Reactrix Media Systems as a “senior advisor.” This is in supplement to his main gig, moving large capital in telecom investment-land.

Reactrix is deploying what it calls “reactive media network” technology – motion-sensitive electronic billboard-style advertising – in malls, theatres, chain stores and other spaces of public commerce.

Mikey sez: “This new reactive media that Reactrix has pioneered, like the Internet before it, has the long-term potential to fundamentally change the way consumers receive and exchange information.” Add another feather to his stellar legacy.

Mikey Powell: Telecoms Investor

Not much surprise in the news of former FCC chieftain Mikey Powell going to work for Providence Equity Partners, which specializes in venture/vulture capitalism involving global media interests. Powell, as a “Senior Advisor,” will no doubt assist in the management of Providence’s ~$9 billion portfolio. His pinstriped suits should fit in very well there. Read More

On Falling Close to the Tree

Mikey Powell and Media Bureau chief William (“Ken”) Ferree, until this week top dogs at the FCC, have new gigs to fall into. Powell is heading to the Aspen Institute, a common transitional stop for former Chairmen. Ferree lands a phatter job: Chief Operating Officer at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Ferree, architect of the (mostly failed) media ownership review, now making critical decisions on funding for public radio and TV. Sounds like a match made in heaven!