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Weekly News from the President: FCC Approves AT&T and DirecTV Merger

FCC Approves AT&T and DirecTV Merger

Posted July 27, 2015

Late on Friday afternoon, the Federal Communications Commission announced it was approving the merger of AT&T and DirecTV. Details of the Order outlining conditions for the merger’s approval haven’t been released. The Alliance for Community Media and our allies, such as Common Cause, were concerned about reduced competition for some 6 million cable customers, the continued sub-standard treatment of PEG channels by AT&T, and the loss of local content the deal could mean.

We’ll give you an updated analysis of the deal as soon as the FCC releases its Order. At the very least, we think the deal is a precursor for other media consolidation moves – and sets the stage for Charter’s bid to take over Time Warner and Bright House Networks.

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We’re putting the finishing touches on the ACM Annual Conference and Trade Show at the Pasadena Hilton, August 12-14. Our theme? “ReDiscover Community Media”. Over the three days we’ll explore new ways to bring community together through media work, meet new allies and colleagues and we’ll reconnect with other people who care about the mission of empowering people and communities through media.

I hope you’ll join me on Wednesday morning August 12 in Pasadena for a workshop on advocacy and lobbying. I’ll be joined by Gerry Lederer of Best, Best & Krieger LLP and Ana Montes from TURN (The Utility Reform Network) as we walk through do’s and don’ts, demystify the FCC and help you map a way to build power in your community.

I’ll also be teaming up with Steve Traylor from NATOA on Thursday morning to talk about federal policies affecting PEG and community media.

And I’m excited about the conversation on Friday morning as I talk with Jo Ellen Kaiser of the Media Consortium, Todd O’Boyle from Common Cause and Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition about new initiatives to build and strengthen community media across the United States.

Of course, there will be a LOT of great things during the conference. Chief among them for me will be meeting with colleagues and allies from around the country and making new friends.

There’s still time for you to register. Check out the full schedule and register today.

See you in a couple of weeks in Pasadena!