Tegna Deal Critics Say FCC Needs More Data

Critics of the $8 billion-plus purchase of Tegna’s TV station group by investment fund Standard General have told the FCC it needs to collect more data on the proposed merger before it rules on whether it is in the public interest. Common Cause, joined by the NewsGuild-CWA union and Public Knowledge, have filed a formal motion for both additional documents that the FCC and the public can peruse and an extension of time to weigh in. Currently, the FCC has set a May 23 deadline for those wishing to formally oppose the deal.

Public Knowledge Launches Gene Kimmelman Fellowship

Public Knowledge has created the Gene Kimmelman Fellowship Fund to train the next generation of consumer advocates specializing in technology, telecommunications, and intellectual property policy. Throughout Kimmelman’s decades of public service, he created fellowships and other mentorship programs to nurture the next generation of diverse consumer advocates. When Kimmelman joined Public Knowledge as president and CEO […]

Public Knowledge Names Chris Lewis CEO

The FCC and Public Knowledge veteran succeeds the retiring Gene Kimmelman as head of the public interest group.

Political Foes Ask AT&T-TW Be Stopped

Seven groups from both sides of the political spectrum asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stop AT&T from buying Time Warner if, the groups wrote, “as it appears, [the proposed deal] would substantially harm competition, [we urge the government] not to allow it to go forward unless those harms can be effectively prevented.”


Pay TV A Backer Of Public Knowledge

The media watchdog group headed by Gene Kimmelman (c) that has been lobbying in favor of retransmission consent reform received more than $100,000 in donations from pay TV industry proponents of retrans reform last year, including contributions of about $25,000 apiece from Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network. Other lesser contributors included Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, Verizon and the American Cable Association.

FCC Gets Pitched On Sharing Limitations

Public interest watchdog groups held a lobbying session at the FCC earlier this month, making a case for barring joint sales and shared services agreements in which the stations share management or in which one of the stations in the combo sells 15% or more of the advertising time of the other.

Public Knowledge Names Kimmelman CEO

Gene Kimmelman, a former Justice Department official and public interest media advocate, succeeds Gigi Sohn as head of the nonprofit consumer advocacy group.

Advocacy Groups Criticize Ban On FilmOn X

The federal judge who prohibited FilmOn X from operating didn’t adequately consider the “public interest in innovation,” a coalition of nonprofits argue in new court papers. The groups — Public Knowledge, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Engine Advocacy — criticize the reasoning of U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer, who issued an injunction against FilmOn X earlier this year.

Retrans Reform Advocate Sohn On FCC Team

Gigi Sohn, the founder of public interest group Public Knowledge, has argued that the FCC can require interim carriage of broadcast signals to avoid blackouts during retransmission consent negotiating impasses. However, some industry observers say that in her new position as FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s special counsel for external affairs, she may change her tune on some key issues now that she is officially representing the FCC. Says one: “She has to think about whether a court will uphold an action, and in the past she has shown an ability to be pragmatic.”

Media Watchdog Sohn Tapped For FCC Role

Gigi Sohn, who has headed the nonprofit advocacy group Public Knowledge for 12 years, is joining new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s staff as special counsel for external affairs. The appointment of Sohn is sure to raise eyebrows in some circles. She has been a critic of media consolidation, and her views on copyright protection are often at odds with those of the entertainment industry. She is also an advocate of Net Neutrality rules that most major cable and telephone broadband providers have fought.

Gatekeepers Of Cable TV Try To Stop Intel

Intel’s plan to create a virtual cable service is running up against a barricade being guarded by cable and satellite distributors.

Advocacy Groups Throw Support To Aereo

Late last week, a coalition of public interest groups sided against the broadcast networks in a friend-of-the-court brief in the networks’ suit against the Barry Diller-led streaming service. “By making broadcast programming more accessible, and by creating more choices for private viewing technologies, Aereo improves and does not disrupt the free television industry. Aereo serves the public interest, and its service should not be enjoined,” the groups said.

Michael Copps Joins Public Knowledge Board