Comcast Accused of Violating NBC Merger Rules Regarding Local News

Saturday, May 21, 2011
Comcast has not lived up to its pledge to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) after merging with NBC-Universal to air a minimum amount of local and Spanish-language news programs.
Over the course of five years, the media monolith is supposed to produce an additional 1,000 hours annually of original news programs for Spanish-language network Telemundo. But, in their first report after the merger, corporate officials inflated their numbers by including commercials into their local programming tally.
NBC stations reported showing an average of four hours and 42 minutes of local news every day, while Telemundo stations aired approximately 48 minutes daily. In the New York market, the NBC affiliate aired close to six hours a day of local programming, but Telemundo showed only 30 minutes. In Boston and Denver, since January 18, when the merger was approved by the FCC, Telemundo has shown zero local news or information programming.
A report by Corie Wright of Free Press noted that the FCC applied its “localism” requirements to all of NBC’s local stations, but only six of 15 Telemundo stations.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
FCC Commissioner Sets Revolving Door Record by Becoming Comcast Lobbyist (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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