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Comcast-NBCU merger in Chicago for hearings

Two hearings on Comcast’s proposed merger with NBC Universal will be held in Chicago this week and next. Here are the details:

On Thursday, July 8, at 9 a.m. CST, the House Communications, Technology and Internet subcommittee will hear from Earthlink, Hip Hop On Demand, Jesse Jackson of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, NBC’s diversity officer, and Joe Waz of Comcast.

The field hearing, “Comcast and NBC Universal: Who Benefits,” will address diversity in media and how the merged media giant would affect the landscape of local journalism. It is the subcommittee’s second hearing on the merger and its affects on the broadband and video industries.

Invited witnesses:

  • Samuel R. DeSimone, Jr., general counsel, EarthLink, Inc.
  • Shirley Franklin, executive senior adviser, Alliance for Digital Equality
  • Will Griffin, president, Hip Hop On Demand
  • Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., founder, Rainbow PUSH Coalition, Inc.
  • Paula Madison, chief diversity officer, NBC Universal
  • Joseph W. Waz, senior vice president, external affairs and public policy counsel, Comcast

Next week, the Federal Communications Commission will hold its own hearing in Chicago with an eye on video competition and how the merger will affect Internet television.

The agenda for July 13, 1 to 8 p.m. CST:

Opening remarks: Commissioner Michael Copps, FCC

Panel 1: Online Video Distribution Considerations

  • John Flynn, senior counsel to the chairman for transactions, FCC (Moderator)

  • Jeffrey Blum, deputy general counsel, DISH Network

  • Susan Crawford, professor, Cardozo Law School, and visiting research collaborator, Princeton University

  • Markham C. Erickson, partner, Holch & Erickson LLP, and executive director, NetCoalition

  • Travis Parsons, senior director of business development, Sezmi

  • Josh Silver, president and CEO, Free Press

  • Scott Wallsten, vice president for research and senior fellow, Technology Policy Institute

  • Susan Whiting, vice chairman, the Nielsen Co.

Panel 2: Multichannel Video Programming Distributor Considerations

  • William Lake, Media Bureau chief, FCC (moderator)

  • Colleen Abdoulah, president and CEO, WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone

  • Tyrone Brown, president, Media Access Project

  • Brian Lawlor, president-chairman, NBC Television Affiliates, and senior vice president of television, E.W. Scripps Co.

  • William Rogerson, professor of economics, Northwestern University

  • Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, The Tennis Channel

  • James Speta, professor, Northwestern University School of Law

Public Comments

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 7, 2010; 4:01 PM ET
Categories:  Antitrust , Comcast , FCC , Media  
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Next: Comcast-NBC merger conditions eyed


will hearings be in LA & New York next then?

Posted by: Hattrik | July 7, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

I think it will be in New York...Right?

Posted by: maxwhite49 | July 7, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse Comcast has plenty of work cut out for itself if it wishes to prove it is more than a substandard company defined by its awful customer support. Perhaps before the FCC lets the merger move forward adding to Comcast’s customer base, they should mandate that Comcast reconcile with its current customer base. If it cannot handle the scope of its current operation, it seems obvious that it will not be able to handle Comcast + NBC.

Posted by: mlschafer | July 7, 2010 7:50 PM | Report abuse

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