Indianapolis…Comment from Jeff Smulyan, Emmis Communications (Nasdaq: EMMS) Chairman and CEO, regarding FCC Chairman Michael Powell’s comments on the future of broadcast TV:
“It is gratifying to see that the Chairman has recognized that the growth of multi-channel providers (cable and satellite) and their increasing power at the expense of over-the-air television is by far the most important issue for the future of broadcasting. Every other issue the FCC is debating pales in comparison.
“But if this problem is the cancer that threatens our future, then the suggestion to lift the cap for the four networks is like offering the networks a flu shot while exposing every other broadcaster in America to asbestos. He’s recognized the problem, but this remedy won’t cure any party involved, least of all the American public.
“We’ve allowed an ever-shrinking number of cable companies to be the gatekeeper and toll collector for a $60 billion industry at the expense of the U.S. public and over-the-air broadcasting. This is the issue the Commission and Congress must focus on.”