Tuesday, April 14, 1998
9:40 a.m.

National Association of Broadcasters
1771 N Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20036

Transcript of the Afternoon Session

[View the transcript of the morning session]

                                               (1:40 p.m.)
          MR. MOONVES:  Can we reassemble, please?  We
have been requested that the members of our group, when
speaking, if they could identify themselves, because the
people back there don't know who's speaking and that would
be of help to them, so why don't we do that.
          At this point I would like to turn the meeting
over to my co-chairman, Mr. Ornstein.  It's all yours.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Thank you, Mr. Co-chairman.
          MR. MOONVES:  You're very welcome.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  You will recall at the first
meeting we were referred to as Lewis and Clark, and I said
it was more like Martin and Lewis.
          We have a couple of things that I think we
should do here this afternoon.  We need to have some
discussion among ourselves of ideas that have been on the
table or that might be put on the table, specific and
general ones for recommendations we might make, and have
some fuller discussion of them.
          We need to do something which we will do toward
the end as well, which is to set up our framework for
working towards a report and our timetable, which now
becomes very important.  We have formally been extended to
October 1.

          I would remind you, however, that if that seems
far away, it will be on us before we know it and that we
need to have at least a little bit of lead time to
actually not just write a report, which is likely to be
more than 5 or 10 pages, but get it printed.
          And while we don't have to have a bound, printed
commercially viable publication on October 1 to present to
the Vice President, as is our requirement, that basically
means we have got to be ready at least a short while
before that, and that means working over the summer, so
we're going to have to find ways to expedite the process,
and we have some ideas for doing that that we will bring
up as we go along.
          Two of our members have gone to the trouble of
putting some specific proposals on the table, writing them
up and laying them out for us.  In some cases they are
ideas that flow, in whole or in part, from the
deliberations that we have had here along the way which
is, I think, particularly useful, that we have, in fact,
in our hearings had ideas spring forward, and that we have
been able to use.
          In other cases there are larger questions, some
ideas that have been out there for a while, or that are
relatively new, but it is probably useful for us, since we
have these two proposals on the table, to use them as a

starting basis for discussion, and then we will go on from
there, and I hope to have an open and free-flowing
          Let me just say at the outset that I see, and I
think I speak for my co-chair, our goal here is to, across
an interesting and disparate group of talented members, to
reach a consensus where we can -- that the greatest value
we can have in this advisory committee is if we have a
core of sensible and perhaps in some cases innovative
recommendations that can cut across some of the very
different perspectives we have that can help move the
country forward into this new digital age as well, and so
wherever we can we are going to try and do that in the
process of give-and-take here.
          To reach that point is probably going to
illustrate some of the sharper differences.  We have an
initial approach, but I hope and urge all of the members
to keep in mind that if we are to accomplish what we can
accomplish and maximize it, it's going to require some
give-and-take on the part of all of us in the end, which I
hope we will.  That is the spirit in which we will
approach these things as we move forward.
          With that, let me turn initially to Robert
Dechert, who gave us a very interesting set of ideas.
          Oh yes, Peggy, I'm sorry.  I neglected to give

you the prerogative that you deserve.
          MS. CHARREN:  I'll make it very, very short.
          I just wanted to, after listening to that
discussion about the very good broadcasters versus the
ones that don't quite measure up, and the idea that I seem
to get from the attorney for the NAB, Jack Goodman, that
you really don't need rules if you have ideas, that good
is terrific, that something will flow from that, and it's
my experience, 30 years of waiting for things to flow,
that without the guidelines and without some rules and
without some laws, nothing flows.
          And in Boston in particular, for example, we
have a broadcasting station, WCBB, whose big cheese is
sitting at this table, called LaCamera, who since the day
they got the license has been known throughout the
industry as being a serviceable station.  They almost
didn't get the license because they were perceived to be
blue skying it when they did their proposal, and this has
not created a well model for the industry.
          And I think it's important for us to remember
that these rules and guidelines set level playing fields
for corporations in the same way they do in other areas,
pollution, and you have to help the good guys do it right,
otherwise they're penalized by their own peer group.
          And to a degree that's a little bit what we are

doing here, and I just thought I would like to have said
that to the man from the NAB, but in the interest of lunch
I thought at least I would get it on the record.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Robert.
          MR. DECHERD:  We have had, I think, many
productive discussions, and we all have the same hope,
which is exactly what you just described, namely to find
some consensus around one or more ideas that would improve
overall the broadcast community largely defined and serve
all the public interest goals that we each in our own way
have, and in many respects share.
          What I tried to do in this set of ideas was not
to preempt this discussion or take us in a direction away
from the central theme, which is how in a digital
environment the existing public interest obligations of
broadcasters should be extended or modified, but to add a
layer to that, which is the whole notion about public
broadcasting and the comments we heard in January from
educators, which I found to be very challenging.
          And as we all reflected on the choices,
technology provides today a source of considerable promise
for improving in a significant way the quality of
education in this country, and I would hope that we would
consider that idea separate and apart from the other
agenda items we have, and I did not intend, in the

document that I sent to Norm and Leslie, to couple those.
          I know that that was interpreted in some of the
press reports as being a tradeoff, or a paper play kind of
proposal.  That wasn't the intention at all.  I really do
hope we will look at CPB, PBS, the choices afforded by
spectrum as it relates to education, various public
interest and political goals that this country has.
          Insofar as the public interest obligations of
broadcasters today, I think it is important for all of us
to recognize that prior to the introduction of digital
technology into this equation, the many parties to this
discourse had spent three decades, four decades bringing
us to a point where there is a definable public interest
standard.  It is the public interest standard that applies
presently to the broadcast industry.
          The question in my mind is whether it should be
perpetuated in a digital environment, whether it should be
modified and, if so, how, and we have heard in these
discussions hints of how that might be addressed, and the
two models we brought forward were simply ways of, if you
will, constructing an approach wherein there's a simple
choice to be made.
          One end of that spectrum, if you will, is
deregulation.  I think there are some compelling arguments
in favor of that.  Politically, that may be unrealistic,

so you look at the other side of the equation, and I think
you then have to give a lot of weight to the point that
Bob Wright and others have made, which is, this is a very
fast-changing technological environment.
          The businesses are changing and adapting to this
technology in ways that are in some cases dramatic, and in
many instances unpredictable, and so for us to try to, as
I said to some people, at once freeze this and in an
analysis of what we believe the right assumptions are
about digital broadcasting on a certain date, or in a
certain year, and that those in turn will be applicable
for any period of time, 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, I think
is a challenging idea, and I'm not sure that that's the
right thing for us to do.
          What I hope our proposal brought forward,
though, is the idea that there are reference points. 
There are qualitative reference points which could be very
helpful in enabling broadcasters to respond to the
opportunities presented by digital technology, and that in
that process we would improve overall the performance of
broadcasters in the public interest and political arenas.
          I think the ideas that have been advanced about
the code are extremely timely and important.  I don't
think there's any disagreement among any of us about that,
and I see that Jack Goodman did provide us the updated

programming standards or statement of principles that he
mentioned this morning.
          I think most broadcasters are very responsive to
that kind of approach, and the differences I believe that
we're going to have will mostly center on voluntary
compliance or voluntary action versus mandates.
          In my mind, that's an ideological difference of
view and method.  It doesn't mean we can't agree on a
consensus, but I think that the chances of us working out
a solution here, or set of recommendations that will have
legs and can be the source of a consensus will really
depend on us thinking through what are the right reference
points, what are the standards by which broadcasters can
hold themselves accountable, and try to do it in as few
words and as simple a terms as possible, because if we
drift in the direction of an opus we will never agree.
          If we try to go into great specificity and
account for each and every possibility, or each and every
interest on either side of the ideological wall, I think
we'll be at this a long time and probably not get to
          So what I was trying to do here was suggest that
we look at the ideas about which we can all agree, that we
find a vehicle which would provide all of us an
opportunity to say, well, this is a good reference point,

or starting point, or foundation, whatever word you want
to choose, and then leave it to the parties at interest
here to perform.
          And the parties at interest are not just this
commission.  They are the administration, the Congress,
the FCC, the broadcast industry, the public at large. 
These are very significant and complex constituencies, and
I think what we can do that is very helpful is find this
high ground.
          I, for one, am very much in favor of making the
kinds of emphatic statements that Cass described at the
last meeting, and I don't think there's anything
Pollyannish about that.  Frankly, the industry and the
country would be well-served if we talked in those terms
more often, so long as it's sincere and meaningful.
          So that was the purpose, Norm, of bringing forth
these ideas and our program study was not intended to be
comprehensive, but simply to say here are 17 circumstances
about which we have a lot of knowledge.  Whether they are
one of these many reference points or not is up to this
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Let me offer a couple of
reactions.  Then we will open it up.
          In a larger point, there is no question there is
a continuum here between a complete market approach, no

regulatory mechanism, leave the stations on their own in
that open marketplace, and at the other end a great
succession of mandates.  It would not be fruitful for us
to try and establish a foothold at either end of that
spectrum, I believe -- of that particular spectrum.
          What may be the case in this new digital world
is that we do not have to do that.  And I think some of
the ideas that we have thrown out here, including a couple
that you have raised, suggests that with this, in effect,
tremendous expansion of space on the airwaves available
with some of the new technologies.  With resources that
may flow from that, some of which we know are going to
flow from that, including revenues from ancillary and
supplementary uses of the spectrum, we may be able to find
way of satisfying public interest objectives without
necessarily applying heavy-handed mandates in a win-win
          And that is obviously our goal here.  And all of
us need to be thinking about some of those innovative ways
of doing it and of seeing where we can use the peer
pressure or the process within the industry to advance
some of these goals in conjunction with that.
          MR. MOONVES:  Robert, can I ask you to, if it is
possible, in a minute or two, summarize basically what the
paper that you propose said.  I think that would be good

for clarification for everyone.
          MR. DECHERD:  Well, let's deal first with the
public interest side of it, and then talk about the CPB
          The ideas I have advanced are as follows:  That
we need to find issues which can be the source of
consensus, as opposed to contentiousness.  And as we
discovered in Los Angeles, there are as many views of
these matters as there are members.  That is certainly no
surprise.  But I think that those views run along a long
part of this range Norm just described, in terms of
ideology.  Which suggests to me that it would be difficult
to drill down to levels of specificity on individual
issues and come up with an acceptable or
consensus-oriented outcome.
          I think there is a consensus that we should make
this kind of emphatic statement about what the public
interest obligations of broadcasters are.  We should
consider putting it in the form of a code which meets the
legal test that up-ended the NAB code a number of years
          And then we should recognize what Norm just said
-- that there is this range, from complete deregulation to
movement in a more regulatory direction from where we are
today, and try to focus, in my opinion, on where we are

today, make the assumption that these public interest
obligations, or public interest standards, have worked
well enough -- maybe not perfectly, but well enough -- in
an analog world that they are the basis for public
interest standards in a digital environment and that we
then should create these reference points about the kinds
of public interest programming and initiatives that this
group deems to be desirable and, in the perfect world,
would extend to 100 percent of broadcasters in every
market in the United States, and that those reference
points serve as the guide, if you will, to how we use this
additional spectrum.
          We started out saying at the first meeting, the
first couple of meetings, well, you know, there is all
this spectrum that is valuable.  There are going to be
gazillions of dollars of ancillary fees paid, or fees paid
for ancillary services.  That may or may not happen.  But
we can say when ancillary services generate fees, here is
a worthy purpose, here is a mechanism for those to benefit
the public interest, or political interest.
          I think those kinds of general directional
conclusions, stated in a few words -- not trying to
anticipate every scenario that might evolve in a
technological and business environment that is changing so
rapidly, would have far more meaning than if we, as I

said, tried to freeze-frame this and take every issue in
every layer and come out with a document that might be
largely obsolete 6 months as a result of market phenomena.
          But if we have these guideposts, reference
points -- whatever we choose to call it -- and that is
advanced to the President and Vice President and to the
Congress, who, for example, in the political realm, are
going to make the decisions about campaign finance
reform -- we are not going to do that; we can be a part of
that process, but that is going to be done on Capitol
Hill, or relative to specific public interest standards,
the FCC and future FCC's would have as a reference
point -- here is this Commission's analysis of the
then-existing situation, here were a number of standards
or goals or best practices that they have brought forward,
and as we said this morning, let's find ways to create
that baseline and then measure in future years how the
industry as a whole and individual broadcasters are
performing against those standards.
          I think that would be very constructive and
useful to the public discourse about all these matters,
and far better than trying to say, as of this date
certain, these are all the things that you should or must
do, which will then become the source, I believe, of
tremendous political contention in the Congress or at the

FCC.  I mean, this is not going to be some tablet that
goes straight to the mountaintop.  I mean, there are a lot
of people interested in this subject matter, and they have
not even weighed in.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Do you want to discuss, at least
for a minute or two, the specific recommendations, or at
least put them out on the table, Robert, on the
educational side?  And then we will turn to Newt.
          MR. DECHERD:  This is just one approach to what
I think is a technological opportunity.  The proposal I
advance is this.  That gearing off what was said at our
meeting in January, if we revisited, as a broadcasting
community, what I believe was one of the original
intentions of the Public Broadcasting System, there is an
opportunity today, technologically, to provide not only
access to educational institutions and to the students
from a distance learning standpoint, but an opportunity to
do that in a technological format that is vastly superior
than anything that was ever contemplated when the idea of
educational programming was first advanced.
          Now, there are people here who know a lot more
about that history than I do.  But looking at it in 1998,
going forward, it occurs to me that if the Congress
permanently allocated to public broadcasting, not PBS, but
public broadcasting in the largest sense, the 6 megahertz

that has been loaned for the digital transition, and we
then had a coverage pattern approach, wherein the goal is
to make sure that there is that additional 6 megahertz of
spectrum permanently allocated in a way that provides 100
percent coverage of every State -- and that is a
distinction that is important, because I am not suggesting
that every PBS station get 6 additional megahertz
          There are two stations, for example, in
Dallas-Fort Worth, two VHF, PBS stations, but they would
not both need 6 additional megahertz; one would to cover
that market -- once that allocation is made, that the
condition of allocating the spectrum would be that it is
used exclusively or in some prescribed percentage for pure
educational purposes, in concert with State and local
educational entities, for public interest programming and
to the degree that Congress decides it is appropriate, for
political broadcasting, which could include
election-related activities.
          My suggestion was that we consider CPB as an
existing entity which has a national presence, which may
today not be in a position to manage that, but could move
itself into a position to manage it, and that we fund
these activities through a number of sources, or from a
number of sources.  One would be the fees from the

ancillary services paid by commercial broadcasters for the
use of digital spectrum other than their principal
television broadcasting activities.
          The second could, and in my view should be, the
possibility of congressional funding.  If we are serious
about improving education in this country and we have the
opportunity for high-quality, interactive, computer-driven
distance learning, the rhetorical question is:  Why
wouldn't we allocate budget dollars for that, incremental
to what is presented allocated to PBS?  None of this is a
substitute for CPB or PBS funding presently in the budget. 
It is all incremental.
          And the third source would be potentially State
and local educational entities, or private entities, that
became engaged in these educational projects.  The
consequence would be that we would have 6 megahertz, which
in the highest digital form would be one channel and in
the lowest form would be three, four, five channels, which
provide 24-hour access to every citizen in this country
for educational, public interest and possibly political
broadcast purposes, including prime time, all the key time
periods, all of the most desirable times we wish we could
broadcast all of this product, and it is managed by a
group of people who are passionate about it, not by
commercial broadcasters, who are doing it because it has

been imposed or mandated, but by people whose whole
livelihood is built around the purposes of public
broadcasting or education or public interest.
          And I believe that a lot of dollars would flow
to that.  And if it is good enough, there will be
audiences.  Certainly the educators we heard from in
January I think would be very enthusiastic about the idea,
say, of the State university system in New York being able
to have access 24 hours a day to every home in the State
of New York for high-quality, digital, interactive
educational programming.
          That was not possible prior to the introduction
of digital.  Because to do that, you crowded out PBS's
other programming.   And what we all observed over the
last 30 years is that because the quality of educational
programming was lacking, because it was not working in
purely educational terms, educators gave way to public
broadcasters and we, in effect, abandoned that one part of
the original concept of educational programming.
          There was a technological constraint and there
was literally a spectrum limitation.  There is no spectrum
limitation today if the Congress decides we want to make
this permanent allocation.  And if you work your way
through this, the compression concept or logic, it is
possible that it could be four, five or six channels. 

Which does not displace any of PBS's current programming. 
And in fact, PBS stations with the digital capability and
compression probably will have two or three other channels
they can use for all the purposes that they have already
decided to pursue and which we have heard about in the
          So yes, spectrum is valuable.  Theoretically we
could recommend the auction of spectrum.  Let's say, when
broadcasters return the 6 megahertz that has been loaned
to them, that could be another source of funding for all
of this.
          But it really tests the logic and the
presumption that there is value there.  If people believe
they are going to be billions of dollars of fees paid by
commercial broadcasters who use spectrum for ancillary
purposes, here is an extraordinarily worthy purpose for
it, one around which I think the administration, the
Congress and everybody at this table could rally.  At the
same time, there may be $300,000 a year in fees.  In which
case you are going to have to find other funding sources.
          But the real point, Norm, as we have talked
before, is if you apply some pretty straightforward logic
about what the technology provides here, it is a
dramatically different set of choices for educators,
public interest advocates and public broadcasters, which I

think deserves to be considered on its own.  That is
totally separate and apart from the other ideas.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Okay, we have Newt and then we
have Peggy, then we have Charles.
          MR. MINOW:  I think what is being suggested here
is the beginning of a very important conceptual framework. 
Senator Morrill, right after the Civil War, addressed the
question of what to do with the public lands in the United
States throughout the West.  And Senator Morrill got
Congress to pass what became known as the Morrill Act. 
The Morrill Act said for every sale, disposition of public
land, a certain percentage of that land must go to form a
land grant college.
          As a result of that, many of the great
universities of the United States were created, the
University of Illinois, the University of Wisconsin, the
University of Nebraska.  You can go around the country.
          MR. MCINTURFF:  The University of Michigan, the
University of Minnesota.
          MR. MINOW:  It all stemmed from the conception
that Senator Morrill had that if you are dealing with
public property, as you are here with the spectrum, a
certain part of it should be earmarked for the purpose of
education.  It has made an enormous difference over the

last 140 years in the United States.  So the concept, I
think, is a very sound concept.
          At the same time, I think there are a couple of
things that I would like very much to zero in on in this
discussion.  Our title of our committee calls us -- we are
dealing with digital television broadcasters.  Looking
back on it, that is a mistake, a fundamental mistake. 
Because the people in the cable business, who are now
reaching more homes every day than they ever dreamed of,
are exempt from any public service obligations.  That is
not a level playing field.
          Whatever we do here, I remind you when Bob
Wright of NBC spoke to us, I asked him specifically if he
thought any public service obligations imposed on
broadcasters should also be imposed on cable operators. 
And he said yes, it is all the same.
          I think he was right.  And I think it is
important that we point out to the Congress, to the FCC,
that any public interest, public service obligations
should include everybody, not just those who broadcast
over the air, particularly when more people are watching
cable than are watching over-the-air broadcasting.
          Next I want to zero in on -- I am so glad you
gave us the Eddie Fritts quote, because I had not seen it. 
This is in the material you gave us today.  And I read you

the full paragraph and the context of what he said.  He is
asked about political broadcasting.  He said:
          Discussing the political air time issue, Fritts
insists that any free time mandate would really provide
more time for negative attack ads.  Quote:  I will make a
deal tomorrow with the Congress of the United States, end
quote, Fritts adds, that says the following:  We will give
you 2 hours of broadcast time to run your campaign for
Federal candidates only.  However, you will not be able to
buy any additional time.  End quote.
          I propose we take that deal today.  At the first
meeting of this committee, it was proposed that we
challenge Congress, because Congress is not going to be in
favor of this.  We ought to be challenging Congress with
this proposal.  If you read today's New York Times, the
lead story is that political candidates today are starting
earlier, spending more on television advertising.  And our
democratic process, in my opinion, is at risk.
          We are going to be selling access to government
by candidates so they can buy access to something we
own -- the spectrum.  That is what is going on here.  And
the result is an auction and the amount of money involved
is becoming a national scandal.
          This proposal would put Congress right on notice
that if you want to get rid of -- and solve most of the

campaign finance problem, here is the way to do it.  That
is the way they do it in England, which benefits from a
democratic process.  Political time is not bought or sold. 
If there ever is a public interest issue, I think that is
          Finally, being a semantics major in college, I
suggest we get away from some of the terminology that has
grown up about this.  We call it "free time."  "Free
time."  The only people who have free time under our
system are the broadcasters.  The broadcasters get
something like 62,000 hours of free time every license
period.  They do not pay anything for the license.  They
pay a promise to serve the public interest.
          To call political time for candidates, the
essence of the democratic process, free time is turning
the problem upside-down.  We should call it public service
time, which is what broadcasters called it at the
beginning.  So let's get away from the language.  If you
say "free time," it is as if you are asking for something
you are not entitled to.  You are asking for a handout.
          I remind you the public airwaves belong to the
public, not to the broadcasters.  So I think that should
be an important part of our, I hope, consensus here. 
Those are the main points on my mind.  I think that this
discussion, the proposal that Bob has made, is a very

useful one.  But I do not think we should be limiting
ourselves in our thinking only to over-the-air
broadcasting.  And I think we should be very specific
about political time for our candidates before the
democratic process collapses about us.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Okay.  So we have the new moral
act we could call the Decherd Act accepted, and we have
the Fritts proposal.  Boy, we are really making progress
here today.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Let us see if we have other
          MS. CHARREN:  I just have a question.  Maybe for
you, Bob, or for the rest of us in the room.  The idea of
giving the extra spectrum to public television came up at
other meetings, too, and as an attractive concept.  But
the paying for it with the fees from the fee services,
that money has already been sort of allocated to the
budget -- to highways, to the deficit.
          What does the likelihood that Congress will vote
to, all of a sudden, switch, and give all that money to a
system they have not been terribly friendly to in the last
couple of years, to flip that around?
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Robert.
          MR. DECHERD:  We had that very discussion in our

own shop before we put this proposal together.  Let me
just make two or three points that are not answers.  There
is nothing definitive in this response, but they are
thoughts that we had.
          Number one, we know when it was scored that that
is allocated to budget reduction.  But I think it is fair
to say that every budget bill that has ever been passed in
the history of the Congress is subject to subsequent
changes and uses and purposes and allocations.  And
depending on the merit of the idea, I think there is a
good chance that this could be shifted, particularly in
the current environment, where at least some would say we
are operating at a balanced budget level.
          So, number one, I think it is quite different
than if we proposed this 2 years, when budget deficit
reduction was still a very critical and sensitive issue.
          Secondly, while the Congress has been unfriendly
to public broadcasting in my respects, this is principally
educational broadcasting, which was a part of, I believe,
the larger construct of public broadcasting as envisioned
40 years ago.  Again, I would respond rhetorically by
saying, if the Congress is serious about taking advantage
of technology to improve the quality of education in this
country, wouldn't we be well served to take a chance on
this, to allocate serious dollars to education, using this

quality of technology or technological means, and bring
everyone into it?
          I think the computer industry -- Rob here -- I
think you might have a lot to say about how you could
interact.  I mean, distance learning, as you know better
than I, is something that is becoming a very real force,
as families are busy and so forth and so on.  So I think
there is a compelling political argument for funding this
and distinguishing it from the ongoing funding of PBS.
          If it were all bundled together or if they were
viewed as one in the same, I agree with you, I think it
would be quite difficult.
          MS. CHARREN:  It is an attractive lobbying tool
for that part of the public that does not know how to talk
about digital television.  They will understand this very
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  We, I hope, will have some
weight, as a group, in our recommendations.  And I believe
Robert is absolutely right, that we will find more
receptivity in Congress now, partly because the budget
climate has changed, but also there are a number of
members across the whole range of the political spectrum
who would love to have -- if we came up with an overall
plan that included these components -- ways of moving this
forward.  And this is an easy one.  And the amount that is

allocated here is not large enough to make this huge
          We might also note just simply for the record
that it appears that the analog spectrum that public
broadcasters now have has not been scored, even though
they are looking towards auctioning that spectrum off --
has not been scored in the budget.  So, clearly, we can
make this kind of allocation without any kind of budget
          And if we moved towards Robert's proposal, which
is not that every station keep its 6 megahertz, but rather
that there be 6 megahertz in a market, we can further
recommend that the proceeds from the other part of the
public broadcasting spectrum that is auctioned off be used
for these purposes.  Which would be another substantial
sum of money that also would have no significant budget
          Charles, and then Frank.
          MR. BENTON:  Well, I want to congratulate
Robert, too, on this proposal.  And I am very glad you are
separating out the education proposal from the rest of the
comments in the paper.
          Just to think about Newt's point, it is
interesting that the next major Federal legislation after
the Morrill Land Grant College Act and right after the

Lincoln administration was the National Defense Education
Act in 1958.  And the purpose of that was to rally the
country in response to the Russians putting up Sputnik,
which was a technological breakthrough on the part of our
          And instead of getting militaristic about
this -- which we also did -- but instead of just doing
that, the idea was to use that event to strengthen our
education system in math, science and foreign languages. 
And that became the categorical matching grant program,
which was the genius of the NDEA.  And what this did is
put relatively small amounts of Federal money on the line
and smoked out all the innovators at the local level,
because they all said, well, gosh, if we applied for this
money with our local money, we can improve our math,
science and foreign languages and we can get some free
Federal money in the bargain.
          I think that your notion -- and obviously this
needs further discussion -- but the notion of putting --
as we are moving from analog to digital technology, to
have a real dividend for American education, both K-12 and
post-secondary, is a fabulous idea.  And just as Bill has
got one speech he makes at every meeting about small
stations, we know Bill's speech -- he gets going on this
and that is his speech -- my favorite speech is about the

under-funding of education and we need to put more
resources into non-commercial and most particularly
education programming, and the sorry state of our
investment in educational media and technology.
          When the words "educational technology" is used
these days, the subset understanding is computers.  But in
addition to computers -- there is a lot of money obviously
in computers -- we are forgetting the most powerful
educational medium of the 20th century, which is
          And as my friend, Nick Johnson, used to say, all
television is educational.  You may not like what it
teaches, but it is all educational.
          Now, for using this for looking at the resources
that come out of, or could come out of, the transition
from analog to digital for education is a big bonus for
education.  And there are many mechanisms for doing that. 
And you have mentioned some of them.
          I think it is a fabulous idea, in principle, and
I am absolutely in favor of it.  Because PBS -- and I say
this, Frank, knowing you represent the system, in a sense,
here -- but I think PBS's biggest weakness is that they
have tried too much to be a commercial network in
non-commercial terms.  And their biggest challenge is:  We
are going to compete with cable.

          Well, I do not think competing with cable is
PBS's biggest challenge.  I think PBS's biggest challenge
ought to be meeting the unmet needs at the community
level, and most particularly that are not being and cannot
be met in other ways.
          So this notion of investing in a major way in
K-12 programming and post-secondary programming and the
merger of computers television that is inherent in the
digital here, as we are moving into it, is a fabulous
idea.  We need to talk much more about this -- how to do
it.  But, in principle and in concept, this is a great
idea and I am absolutely for it.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  We will turn to Frank.  Then we
have Bill.  Then we have Richard.
          MR. CRUZ:  A couple of comments, just
historically, to follow up on Newt's point, as well as
yours, Charles.  There is another analogous situation
historically that occurred in this country, where we saw a
great demand, we saw a national need and we saw a concern
that we had to address and that we wanted to address that
would be for the good of the country as a whole.  And that
was the GI Bill.  And I would venture to say that there
are some of us in this room here who took advantage of
that.  I know, for one, I did.
          But whenever there has been a perceived issue in

America that cut across all racial lines, and that there
was a need to educate -- and it was especially returning
GI's -- that was another effort there that was dedicated
to that.  And that is another example of the Morrill land
grant efforts.
          I think Bob's proposal is really on target in
reference to the -- as it applies to public broadcasting
in America.  I think what your proposal does, as well as
Gigi's -- and we will comment on hers later on -- but at
least you recognize, the two of you, the significant and
important role that public broadcasting has played and
continues to play in America.  And I think in us giving
this proposal our early reviews and analysis, we are proud
of that particular fact that it is recognized as such, of
what we can do.
          And with the digital revolution upon us now, we
feel at public broadcasting that there is a heck of a lot
more that we can do.  And the notion -- and I remember,
because I was perhaps as touched just as much as you were
by that panel that January day over at the Department of
Commerce, where you had K through 12 and you had the
universities, you had the museums and the libraries, as
well as the other two representatives of public
broadcasting, commenting about their goals, but their
inability to get it done.  And it was like a lightning

bolt, I said, gee, with this added spectrum here, it is a
          So we welcome the idea.  We think it is
outstanding.  We feel that we can provide those kinds of
linkages, in terms of content, for those organizations
across the country.  So we welcome that.
          The only areas of concern -- and it needs more
hashing out -- Peggy raised one of them in terms of could
this be seen as really money that should go -- the access
fees -- to a deficit reduction kind of a thing or does
Congress have something else earmarked for it?
          There have been an enormous amount of
conversations historically over the years here as to how
to fund public broadcasting, so that we can get away from
that annual steeplechase of having to run to Congress
every year to get funded.  This would be, if properly
funded, I think a good, positive way of once and for all
freeing public broadcasting and letting us do as we have
done so well but with one hand tied -- the revenue hand
side -- the other hand being the content we can do.  But
we need that latter resource.
          But it is a wonderful proposal, and I think it
is something that we need to flesh out a little bit more.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Thanks.

          MR. DUHAMEL:  Coming from South Dakota, which is
a very sparsely populated State -- it is about 450 miles
east to west and 350 miles north to south, and it has a
total of 700,000 people -- the thing is those 700,000
people are not even spread evenly.  They are out in the
Black Hills in the west, and they are in Sioux Falls in
that eastern corridor.  And they have very significant
educational problems in that State.  And it is not unique
to South Dakota.  You will find it in the West.
          The rural population -- you know, the school
population is leaving.  And yet they do not want kids
commuting 50 miles each way to school every day.  And they
have got really significant problems.
          Now, when my kids -- when I lived in Chicago
back in the early sixties, I was at Northwestern, and I
cannot remember what the educational channel there was --
is it QED -- I cannot remember.  Well, anyway, I thought
they did some marvelous things in terms of the
educational.  And back in those days it was educational
          I looked at demonstrations -- you know, they
showed -- for grade school children, they showed plants
with the time-lapsed photography.  You know, a teacher, it
takes them a year to do that, and they could just do it in
a half-hour.

          And, you know, in some place in the late
sixties, early seventies, we switched from the educational
to the public TV.  And I think public TV has done a fine
job.  My wife was a schoolteacher.  And she used to take
college courses through the public TV.  And at the college
level, at least in South Dakota, I think they are doing an
extraordinarily good job there.  But, again, the K through
12, and the real problems -- and this is not going to
replace teachers -- what this does is assist teachers.
          You know, nobody is going to go in and say you
sit in a room alone with a screen and make it, with the
interactive deals.  I think the potential here is just
fantastic.  And I think the advisory committee really
should support this.  Because I can see the potential for
education.  Because there is a crisis.
          I imagine Lois knows more about that than I do. 
But at least in the rural States, it is tough out there.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Richard.
          MR. MASUR:  Yes, Frank said something that I
want to underscore and really say it strongly.  Frank used
the phrase "if properly funded."  And I think that is the
key to this entire thing.  And I know you were taking that
into account when you made this proposal.
          I want to speak to the fact that my greatest
fear here is that we would do something like this and yet

leave the current situation intact, which is that
Congress -- depending on which way the political wind is
blowing -- is going to get in there and screw around with
it, where they will not have a consistent and dependable
source of dollars to do this kind of programming.  And the
other, frankly, which is in some ways a larger concern of
mine, is the growing corporatization of public television.
          I mean, in KCET in Los Angeles, which is a
flagship station and a great station in many ways, it is
now basically running book-in commercials just the way
Bravo does.  It is European style commercial television. 
It is not public broadcasting anymore.  They have to do it
in order to survive.  And I understand that.
          If this would be a method by which we could pull
that need, or address that need, by creating a dependable
source of income, so that public broadcasting stations and
the system would know that the financing is there for them
to do the kind of work that they want to do without having
that imposition of either political wind blowing or
corporate direction, which I am feeling very strongly in
Los Angeles, on KCET, and I believe most stations around
the country are feeling very strongly.
          They are having to compete directly with
commercial broadcasters.  And that is a mistake.  And if
we could acknowledge that in our recommendation here, that

what needs to happen is that they have to be protected
from that kind of vicissitude, that would be of tremendous
value, I think, to many people in this country, including
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  It is clear by the way that --
and we can agree on it overall on our goal -- there are
actually are a lot of interesting and knotting problems
here.  There is the role of CPB.  There is the role of PBS
and the individual stations.  And it does not necessarily
flow that if we give public broadcasters back the 6
megahertz of analog that it has to go to existing public
television stations for educational purposes either.
          And we may want to, before we end today, figure
out some device we can take forward to work through some
of these problems and come up with some specific
recommendations, including to add to the leverage here to
what you have just suggested, Richard, about the vagaries
in Congress, including maybe a specific recommendation of
what kind of funding would be required to cover the
programming and even some promotion needs to make this
work, so we set out a guideline for Congress.
          And we can offer a menu of ways of financing
this that are specific and targeted, that are very much
related to what we are doing along the lines that Robert
has suggested.  So let's keep that in mind as we move

          MR. YEE:  My faith in believing that the
Congress will abide by our recommendations -- that is a
          MR. YEE:  I feel that you are asking the public
broadcasting, whether it is CPB or PBS, to basically spend
a couple of years retooling itself, as well as the
commercial broadcasting getting ready for this digital
era.  And my concern is that we are just going to see kind
of a repetition of a lot of old ways of doing the business
of working with, as you say, Frank, one hand tied.
          We have to recommend a baseline amount of
dollars, or percentage or something, and not just leave it
to the Congress to act in their wisdom to come forward
with that.  And I think Gigi will speak to that more
          I do feel that also we need to speak very
forcefully about the inclusivity of community into
retooling public broadcasting, as well, in the
participation of building this second network or channel,
whatever you want to call it.  Because there is also
within the public television community a lot of the
stations that could do more.  And I think by giving more

channels to them is not enough.  We need to provide a
certain amount of obligation and accountability and
principal to go with that in the next era.
          MR. MOONVES:  I share everyone's skepticism
about our ability to move Congress.  But let me remind
everybody, come October 1st, we are going to present the
document to the Vice President, which will be seen by the
FCC and will seen by various members of Congress.  We do
not have any power anywhere, really.  So the best we can
do is make as a strong a recommendation as we want in all
those areas and let's remember that we are an advisory
committee.  And unfortunately, we do not have as much bite
or power as we would all like to.  I think we need to just
be as strong as possibly can.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  If we can come up with a report
that includes an overall consensus from this group, we
will have, I suspect, more of an impact on the public
stage than might be imagined.
          MR. MOONVES:  That is better than two reports.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  And if we can unite -- and in
this case, I think we do not need to get specific, down to
every jot and tittle, but if we can get some specifics out
there about how this would work, how we would like to see
it work, that would have some power out there.  And we can
probably do that and reach a consensus in that sense.

          Karen, and then Bill.
          MS. STRAUSS:  Okay, I also want to just echo the
concerns about Congress, not only because we do not know
what this Congress is going to do, but also what Richard
said -- even if we ask for something now, if we make it
dependent upon congressional action in the future, as you
said, the political winds can change.
          But my question to you, Bob, is it seems that
most of the discussion has been focusing on education. 
And I think that, uniformly, everybody here is in favor of
expanding the role of television in education.  But you
also mentioned political access.  And that has not been
discussed.  And I think at other meetings that we have had
there has been significant concern about transferring all
political access to one station, for obvious reasons, for
the minimal exposure that that political access will have.
          And while I anticipate that one of your
responses may be that we are not in the position of
rewriting campaign finance laws or rewriting the way
campaigns are conducted in our country, nevertheless,
again, as Les said, we are here to propose some
recommendations that other forums -- the Congress, the
FCC, the executive branch -- can take and go someplace
with.  And I, for one, am very concerned about putting all
of our political eggs in the public television basket.

          MR. DECHERD:  Karen, that question is an
important one.  And it gives me an opportunity to clarify
at least my thoughts about the displacement concept and
also the funding issues we were just discussing.  On the
funding question, what I am proposing as a starting point
is that the funding of the educational -- and now I will
include public interest or political uses of this 6
megahertz -- needs to be distinguished from the funding
that Congress is presently allocating to PBS.
          It would be a terrible outcome, in my opinion,
if what we recommended enabled the critics of PBS to lump
these things together, and ask CPB and PBS to do more with
the same amount, or less, money.  I mean, that would be an
absolutely awful outcome.
          But I think that the potential attraction of
this idea, so long as it is viewed as supplemental or
incremental, is very powerful.  And I view all three of
these things as supplemental or incremental.
          I am not suggesting that the educational
programming that might be funded and broadcast on this
spectrum substitutes for children's programming on PBS
today, for example.  This is educational programming. 
This is classroom-oriented, distance learning, very
high-quality technological extension.  And I am not
suggesting that the public interest use of some of that

spectrum substitutes for what broadcasters are presently
required to do on our analog or, prospectively, our
digital channels.
          And recognizing your point about campaign
finance reform has to be the backdrop for anything we
propose on political time, this would be supplemental, as
well.  It would be -- I mean, I know the retort is, well,
who is going to watch it?  Well, it is up to everybody to
cause people to be more interested in watching it.  But
the fact is it would be available at virtually no cost to
          I mean, the idea that there is spectrum
available 24 hours a day, as designated under whatever
campaign finance reform is passed, for most local
communities -- I mean, there is an understandable anxiety
here about the fact that we are limiting discussion of
political time to Federal candidates or maybe State
candidates.  And I do not know if it was Shelby or Lois
who was talking about the local candidates.
          Well, they get very little air time except on
the best stations, the best news stations, the best public
affairs stations.  This is not a substitution, in my mind. 
It is incremental, at no cost to anybody, per se.
          So this is not pay or play.  This is not a

          MS. STRAUSS:  But you would just want the
existing public interest obligations that are on the books
already?  In other words, the lower fees for political
candidates, et cetera, not adding any additional
obligations by this committee; is that what you are
          MR. DECHERD:  Well, I think we need to consider
those separately.  That was the point I was trying to
make.  Yes, I think we ought to isolate this 6 megahertz
and view it as incremental; that it is available, if you
will, at de minimis cost to the American people that
designate it for these purposes.  And then, over in a
separate discussion, let's deal with whether the current
public interest obligations of broadcasters are adequate
or not going forward.
          I have a point of view, but it does not
necessarily affect how I think about this other issue.
          MS. CHARREN:  Just a caveat about that.  If we
start talking about this extra 6 megahertz as public
interest and education, there will certainly be some
concern out there about independence completely from CPB
and PBS for some of that.  There will be a number of kinds
of voices that will feel that they have been excluded from
the process.  There will be kinds of speech that may be

          It seems to me that in a democracy we have to
have some independent platform for civic engagement; that
as much as I love public broadcasting -- and I do, I am
very supportive of that system -- that we have to be very
careful that we do not say, well, this is it, and we will
just make sure that it works right.  I think that the idea
of democracy demands some separate way of thinking about
part of that content.
          I do not know if it would be constitutionally
acceptable to tell PBS they have to give up some of it, or
you have to set it up some other way.  But I think that it
cannot be in one house.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  One of the things we need to
consider here is whether there is an innovative or other
set of ways of taking this spectrum and maybe even
offering it up for a bid for local entities to come up
with a plan for the best way to use this in the public
interest.  I mean that is one idea.
          But we need to, maybe in a subgroup, devote some
time to thinking through the best way to do this.  We all,
I think, agree that it is a laudable goal.  And I think it
is particularly important to emphasize what Robert said: 
this is a additive proposal.  It is not to substitute for
anything else.  It is clearly something that we can do
while considering other thing simultaneously.

          MR. DUHAMEL:  I just have a brief comment.  And
it goes back in Rapid City.  There is a ridge that divides
the town in half.  And the creek runs through.  And this
little gap is the only way you can get from the east side
of town to the west side of town.  Forty years ago, they
talked about putting a road over the hill, but they never
got the land.  They said, well, we could not afford it.
          So then when they thought of it again, pretty
soon they have got to go down 2 miles down the ridge.  And
they did not do that 20 years ago.  Now, they are talking
about another spot 2 more miles down that ridge.  And the
problem is you really need to set aside as a minimum, you
know, ignoring what Congress -- you know, the funding in
that, just come out very strongly and say -- because this
is such a powerful idea -- set aside the spectrum -- as
you said, it has not been scored yet -- just say, it
should be set aside for education.
          And if they say, we do not have the money now --
maybe 3 years from now they have got the money -- but just
get that while the spectrum is still there and available,
before it is auctioned off and everything gets repacked. 
To get that for the educational needs and set it aside. 
Because I think that is the minimum.  And then the details
you can work out.  But you have got to grab it.
          It is like when the land grant colleges, you

know, they did not get all that land right away for the
colleges, but they set the principle up.  And then,
through the intervening years -- in fact, when that was
passed, South Dakota was not even Dakota Territory.  I
think it was part of Nebraska Territory, back in the Civil
War days.  But, you know, South Dakota State came out of
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  We may be able to get
considerably more simply because both parties now are
really looking for new ideas in education.  And this is a
new and powerful and nonideological idea.  So we should
think expansively here.
          MR. SUNSTEIN:  Yes, I like this idea a lot.  My
only problem is really about the context of the report. 
There are many people in Congress and elsewhere who do not
like PBS very much.  And there are many people at the
University of Chicago, and conceivably elsewhere, who like
total deregulation a lot.
          And so I think for the report what would be good
to say is why educational programming is not adequately
served by the market.  I believe it is not.  But it is not
the simplest question in the world.  And the report will
be more substantial if we can say something about that.
          And if we can think of maybe -- I guess Norm

just pointed to this -- models that would involve PBS
monopoly or PBS as one of a group of competitors maybe.  I
do not have any view on this, just that PBS is for some --
Frank knows a lot about this -- controversial.  And so
maybe we can think about that a bit.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Gigi.
          MS. SOHN:  Before I talk about Bob's proposal, I
just want to clarify -- because people are just sort of
throwing terms around and I think it is important that we
are clear about this.  We are not talking about giving the
spectrum to the Public Broadcasting Service.  That is a
network.  Okay.  We are talking about giving it to the
individual -- either one individual station, if it is the
only station in the market, or one of two in a market.
          At least my proposal proposes that, and I
believe yours does, too, Bob.  We are talking about giving
individual stations the spectrum and giving individual
stations the money.  Not the Public Broadcasting service.
          MR. DECHERD:  Right.
          MS. SOHN:  And I think that is an important
distinction and clarification.
          I am glad to hear, Bob, that you are talking
about this as an additive.  Because I think the concerns
about congressional action are one that I share.  And in
fact, you and I both fudged something -- and I guess I

will have to come out about it -- that under the Telecom
Act, essentially, the FCC really cannot just go ahead and
give the spectrum to a public broadcast station.  Because
the Telecom Act says that every licensee that gets the
extra spectrum has to give it back at some point or
          So it is really the recommendation to Congress. 
That is one more thing.
          But there is nothing not to like about this
proposal.  You know, my proposal includes pretty much the
same thing.
          But the other point of concern I want to make is
about the subscription services.  And you made the point
it could be many billions of dollars -- I think that is
maybe overstating it -- or it could be $300,000.  And I
think that is important statement to make.  Because I will
assume -- and you can tell me that I am wrong -- that when
you file comments with the FCC in a rulemaking to try to
determine what these fees should be that you or maybe
other broadcasters are going to argue that these fees
should not be high.
          And in fact, important people at the FCC have
agreed with you, and said they should not be high. 
Because the idea is if you set the fees for doing
subscription services -- these so-called ancillary and

supplementary services -- high, then you discourage
broadcasters from doing it.  So there is a tension here.
          If you set the fees too high, broadcasters do
not do ancillary and supplementary fees, and there is no
money in the fund.  If you set them too low and encourage
broadcasters to do the ancillary and supplementary
services, there is still no money in the fund.
          So I am glad that you added -- and again, this
was part of my proposal -- whatever spectrum revenues we
might get out of Congress.  Again, I am very skeptical. 
Because, in my mind, the subscription fees are probably
going to be very, very low.  I am not an economist.  I am
not nearly as good as Cass and his colleagues at the
University of Chicago in knowing how markets work.  But it
seems to me that the likelihood that that bank is going to
have any significant money for it, to tend to that extra
capacity, is very low.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I think before we end here we
will try and set up a mechanism for some deeper
consideration of this set of issues so that we can carry
it forward.
          If there is no other comment on this specific
idea --
          MS. SOHN:  Norm, I did forget two things.  I
want to echo Richard's comment.  If we are going to give

public broadcasters something, they have to give back. 
And that is reducing commercialism.  Because I know a
number of people on this advisory committee really care
about that.  I agree with you wholeheartedly.
          I am sorry, Newt.  We disagree on this.
          MR. MINOW:  We are trying to stay alive.
          MS. SOHN:  And also, I think we should appoint a
subcommittee, and definitely looking at whether this
spectrum, whether these revenues should just go to public
broadcasters.  There are other noncommercial
telecommunications entities and other noncommercial
entities which should be considered.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I would hope we would -- I mean
there are a lot of areas here to consider, and we
certainly have a lot of talent from different perspectives
around the table, so we will do that.
          Why don't we -- Gigi, since this overlaps a
little bit with yours -- I think we have discussed that
part of it -- why don't you give a brief presentation,
just sort of laying out the other elements that you have. 
And we will have some consideration of them.
          MS. SOHN:  Let me just give you a little bit --
a very brief idea of what my viewpoint was here in setting
up my proposal.  And I really think the best thing to look

at is the executive summary.  The full proposal really was
just starting to flesh it out and hopefully, you know, if
we can agree upon some of these things, to have some
language that could be actually incorporated in a report. 
It was more work than I intended to do, but since I just
started doing it I figured what the heck.
          Where I am coming from is as I see the approach
that the digital age is providing an opportunity for
promoting democracy and for promoting local civic
discourse and self-governance.  And I have used basically
three sort of flash points, three signifiers in
formulating this proposal.  One is compensation.  That is
broadcasters, for an undeterminate amount of time, are
going to -- I do not know whether you want to call it a
loan, an interest-free loan of public airwaves -- and they
will be able to do much more than they could do before and
therefore the public should be compensated in some way. 
So compensation is the first point.
          The second is flexibility.  I do not believe
this proposal is about 10 minutes here, 10 minutes there. 
I think it gives broadcasters flexibility, depending on
what kind of technology they use and what kind of
programming they choose to provide to serve the public
          And the third point is accountability.  I mean

it is very good to require broadcasters to do things.  But
if the public has no way of knowing -- there is nothing in
the public files or nothing at renewal that demonstrates
that they are actually complying with these
recommendations, what good is it?  Now, broadcasters have
8-year license terms.  That is a long time.  And the
public should at least be able to have some sense of what
their broadcasters are or are not doing.
          And we talked about ideological differences. 
And yes, there is one.  I do believe that the marketplace
has failed in some of these areas.  And that is why I
think government does need, in a limited way, to step in,
and yes, impose some mandates.  That why, Bob, while I
like your proposal, I do not think it is enough.  I do not
think that voluntary statements and NAB codes are going to
be enough to fill marketplace failure.
          It happened -- children's television is a
perfect example, where promises were made and codes were
drawn up, and Congress stepped in and said, no, that is
just not enough; there is marketplace failure here.  And I
think, especially and specifically as it comes to serving
certain communities, serving local communities, serving
disabled communities, serving communities of color, there
have been marketplace failures, and I think that is where
government should step in, where the FCC should step in.

          And, Les, I do want to disagree with you on one
point about the difficulty of getting legislation passed,
as opposed to trying to convince the FCC to adopt some of
our recommendations.  I think we have a much easier time
of it at the FCC.  And some people are very worried about
that, I might add.  And that is why my proposal makes
pretty much all of its recommendations to the FCC.
          And let me go over that really very quickly. 
Again, I have developed my proposal to be flexible,
depending on the type of technology a broadcaster chooses
to use.  There are some broadcasters, like Jim Goodmon,
who is going to high-definition television all the time,
or most of the time.  And my proposal requires -- asks the
FCC to require broadcasters that do high-definition
television more than 12 hours a day to set aside a certain
portion of their program time for public interest
          And this is very, very broadly defined as
educational, multicultural, local -- the whole list is in
here -- civic, cultural, governmental, educational.  So it
gives broadcasters a great deal of flexibility to meet a
marketplace failure.  And that is the provision of this
kind of local public interest programming.
          Secondly, if those broadcasters that do
high-definition television less than 12 hours a day

therefore have the capacity to do more, and ask them to
set aside essentially what is one channel -- one channel
equal to what we have today for public interest
programming.  Again, giving them broad discretion --
encouraging them to work with their local communities to
provide more local programming -- but giving them broad
discretion on how to provide that public interest
          So that is really core, I would say the core, of
this proposal.
          The third recommendation is to the FCC.  And,
again, it is a little bit fudged, to permit the public
broadcasters to keep and digitize both their old and new
channels, and to require that a third of the capacity on
these extra channels be dedicated to local-originated,
noncommercial public interest programming.  Again, using
their discretion.
          The fourth recommendation is for the FCC to
require broadcasters to provide public service time.  And
I am not the expert, nor do I frankly know if we are the
experts, to recommend to them exactly all the details of
how that public service time should be given out.  I
certainly thought that Paul Taylor and Tracy Westin's
model were perfectly adequate and not particularly

          But the two things that I thought were important
were for the FCC to require that the message be no less
than 1 minute in duration.  And the idea is that nobody
likes sound-bite politics.  And if you are getting free
time, it should not be a first amendment problem to
require that it be no less than 1 minute in duration and
for the candidate to appear in no less than half the
          Again, that gets away from the negative
campaigning.  If you are the candidate and you are making
a statement, you have to appear on 50 percent of the
          The next point -- and I am not an expert on
this and I turn it over to Karen Strauss, and I will admit
in my advocacy piece I did unfortunately misstate the law
of the land as far as captioning is concerned, that is not
my expertise -- but the FCC should ensure that the
disability community has appropriate access to digital
programming.  Karen can talk about the particulars much
better than I can.
          The next recommendation, again, goes to ensuring
democracy in the digital age.  I have listed in the full
proposal -- and there was a lot of evidence -- that when
it comes to ballot initiatives, nonprofit organizations
are outspent by millions of dollars to $100,000, and that

if there is some way to ensure that there is balanced
coverage of ballot issues and referenda, that the FCC
should do it, and this is a critical way that people make
decisions about their lives and their governance, and it
really needs to be fixed.
          The next proposal has to do with what I was
talking about -- accountability -- permitting the public,
who has a right -- and this is under a case called United
Church of Christ v. FCC -- the public has a right to
participate in matters concerning their broadcast
stations, to ensure that broadcasters can be held
accountable, by not resorting to the program logs of
old -- I am very much against that -- but to augment --
slightly augment the current requirement that broadcasters
maintain a quarterly issues programs list.
          And right now, broadcasters have to basically
list -- with not much description -- the kind of issues
and programs they do.  What I am calling for is just
something a little bit more than that, that describes the
program, when it was on, similar to what they are now
required for the Children's Television Act.  I do not
believe this is exceedingly burdensome, but it is
incredibly, incredibly helpful for the public.
          The next three recommendations are less -- are
not in terms of requirements really, they are not

mandates.  They are more sort of concepts.  The first
incorporates the pay or play option, which I am hearing is
falling farther and farther out of favor, but I thought it
is at least something that we had to discuss.  And that
would be to permit commercial broadcasters who want to buy
their way out of the new public issues obligations I just
outlined above to pay 3 percent of their gross revenues to
fund and produce local noncommercial programming for the
capacity that we hope that public broadcasters will get.
          The second is a recommendation -- and this, I
think, really gets to Bob's point about the vast changes
in technology -- that the FCC should review and modify, if
necessary, the public interest obligations it adopts, at
least every 3 years, in light of changing technology.  No
matter what we adopt, I think that is very, very
          I mean, I do want to say I think there are
certain things we do know about what digital technology
can and cannot do today.  And that is what we should base
our recommendations upon.  And those will not change that
much.  But it is important for the FCC to make this a
dynamic exercise to go back.
          The final of the FCC proposals, of what I guess
you would classify as the mandates, is that the FCC should
condition must carry and channel positioning benefits on

broadcasters' provision of additional public interest
obligations.  Right now commercial and noncommercial
broadcasters get mandatory carriage on their local cable
systems, and they get the positioning, the channel
positioning -- for instance, if you are channel 2 on the
broadcast dial, you can require a cable operator to put
you on channel 2 on cable, and that is very, very
beneficial to broadcasters -- to condition any new must
carry and channel positioning benefits on broadcasters'
provision of additional public interest obligations.
          Congress gave analog broadcasters must carry
benefits, told cable operators:  You will carry, against
your will, these stations at a position they say, based on
the fact that they serve local communities.  And given
that there is a market failure here, I believe, in the
provision of local service, I think that unless
broadcasters do new public service, they should not get
must carry and channel positioning benefits for their
digital channel.
          The next two sections of the proposal, again,
are not sort of part of the core proposal, but I just do
want to mention them very quickly.  It recommends that
broadcasters voluntarily do ascertainment, and keep the
records of their ascertainment duties on file.  Again,
this is just a voluntary action.  I know a lot of

broadcasters do do ascertainment.  I think, frankly, it is
more important that we have the local programming
requirements and that ascertainment will follow along the
          And, finally, the proposal does make three
recommendations to Congress, again, with the idea in mind
that Congress is not likely to pass them.  One is to enact
comprehensive campaign finance reform legislation, getting
rid of the lowest unit rate requirement, and requiring
public service time.
          Second, that it should enact legislation that
will take the fees for ancillary and supplementary
services, whatever they are, out of the Treasury, where
they have already been put by the Telecommunications Act,
and give them to public service entities -- let's call it
for now -- and also whatever auction revenues come from
the analog auction should also be given to these public
service entities.
          And the third recommendation to Congress is sort
of a flier.  It is Henry Geller's proposal -- Henry being
a former FCC general counsel and head of the National
Telecommunications Information Association.  And that is
to completely wipe out public interest regulation and
instead impose a spectrum fee of 2 percent of
broadcasters' gross yearly revenues and a 1 percent fee on

all transfers of broadcast stations, giving 1 percent of
the gross yearly revenues for free time, and the remaining
1 percent, plus the transfer fee, for an endowment for
public broadcasters and other public service entities.
          That last one would really be a recommendation
in lieu of everything else.  I think it has as much chance
of happening as -- well, I will not say that -- it does
not have much of a chance of happening.  I cannot think of
a good analogy.  But there it is.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Okay.  The floor is open.  We
have Bill Duhamel.
          MR. DUHAMEL:  I agree with Gigi, the chance of
it happening is very small.  But, on the other hand, I
would think the broadcasters should be absolved of the
public interest obligations.  I mean, this is what the NAB
study was saying:  The broadcasters, the vast majority,
are taking their obligations seriously and are doing
things.  And that is the character of broadcasting in the
United States.  And I think it would be a tragedy to say
that you can buy your way out of it.
          But on the proposal up there on the must carry,
I am not a lawyer, but I think that the Turner Broadcast
decision basically -- this is contrary to the rationale
that the Supreme Court used to decide.  I think they
essentially said, because it was free and generally

available to everybody, that that was the reason that the
must carry should be there, not that it does.  I think you
have got a problem.  I do not know if Cass or somebody
should be an attorney here knows something more about this
than I do.
          MS. SOHN:  In fact, the Supreme Court
specifically cited two findings.  I mean, that was one of
the reasons, Bill -- I am not going to say it was not --
but it was far more complicated than that.  I mean, that
was the basis upon which they upheld the constitutionality
of the must carry laws.  Okay.  That does not mean the FCC
could not, in its own discretion, decide that broadcasters
should have to do more.
          But, in fact, one of the things that the Supreme
Court did look at was the congressional findings that
specifically looked towards all the local needs that
broadcasters met.  But I think it is a different question
between why the Supreme Court found must carry
constitutional -- and I was on the broadcasters' side on
that -- and whether the FCC could exercise their
discretion in this instance, to say, well, we gave it to
you in the analog world, but in the digital world you have
got to do something more.
          MR. DUHAMEL:  You see, you are still back to
that whole gatekeeper argument there at the table.  That

is an entirely different subject.  Because the
broadcasters really do not have access -- see, we all
agree that the reasons broadcasters are going into the
digital spectrum is if they do not, they are dead.  We do
not really have a choice.
          It is like we had an AM service for 60 years. 
We sit there and say, well, by golly, we are not going to
go into FM.  Well, the AM station, every year, the
population dies and we are going bankrupt.  If they are
over 55, they listen to KOTA.  And maybe it is 60 now. 
And so to reach the public, we have to have access on the
cable.  If we do not have access on the cable, I think
everything we are doing is irrelevant.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  A real quick comment on that.  We
have an interesting paper that has been given to us that
is the kind of pure, free market approach, coming from the
Media Institute, that mostly criticizes us for considering
any notion of obligations on broadcasters.  And in that
paper, it takes a swipe at must carry.  And it basically
says that it is absolutely wrong to have must carry if you
are going to have a marketplace operation.
          So the marketeers, at least, take an interesting
and contrary position, which I think most of us would not
share at this particular moment.  There are a lot of very
important issues involving must carry that go beyond where

we are now.  We have to remember that we have this
transition period in which we will be talking about two
stations moving forward, where now the requirement is one. 
And then we have the question of whether, in a digital
age, must carry involves one main channel or the whole 6
          So those are things we have to consider, either
integrated into our package of recommendations or
separate.  And I suppose we have the option of ignoring
them and leaving them open to somebody else.  But if we
are going to deal fully with our questions here --
          MR. DUHAMEL:  I just want to say one final
point.  I disagree with Gigi that the marketplace has
failed.  And I very strongly believe the marketplace is
working, in terms of the public interest obligations.  And
that is part of the point we were going through this
morning.  Just to say it has failed as a generic deal -- I
believe the study that we saw this morning has more
credibility than the 2 weeks that Gigi presented.
          MS. SOHN:  Well, let me say this.  Reasonable
minds can differ as to whether the marketplace has failed. 
I mean, I will grant you that much.  But there is still
one issue that, again, reasonable minds are clearly
differing on this, but it is very, very strong and very
salient for me.  And that is, what does the public get

back for broadcasters getting extra spectrum for an
undetermined amount of time, for free, for the opportunity
to do new and multiple services?
          MR. DUHAMEL:  Okay, let me talk about that. 
Because in your paper you keep bringing up this extra
spectrum.  We are in the same broadcast spectrum where we
are, that is assigned to the broadcasters.  For a short
term, we have the obligation to spend millions of dollars,
on an interim basis, to use this.  And there is no gift
          I mean, as I said -- and Charles says he has
heard the speech before -- but it is a significant cost. 
And it is a significant cost in medium-sized markets.  I
have seen estimates where they have ordered over $20
million in a single market for a station to convert to
this.  This is not trivial.
          MS. SOHN:  We can go round and round on this. 
And we really should not.  I think we need to move on.
          MR. DUHAMEL:  But that is the purpose of your
whole paper.  And I think it is a faulty premise.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I do not want our deliberations
to move back to the insoluble issue of a group of 23
people with very different perceptions of this question. 
It takes us in the wrong direction.  Let's move past that
one.  We have to disagree on that.  And maybe

recommendations will not be agreed to by the entire group
because the premise will not lead them in that direction. 
But we are not going to get into that debate publicly, at
          Shelby, and then Karen.
          MS. SCOTT:  Thanks.  I do not think broadcasters
are meeting their public interest the way they used to.  I
think all the good guys are here at the table with us, and
none of the bad guys.
          I worked in this industry.  I am not a lawyer. 
I am just a dumb, old person that was hired by a broadcast
station, and I have worked in it for almost 40 years.  I
remember when news rooms used to be next door to the
boiler room, and nobody cared, and we actually covered
news.  It was not if it bleeds, it leads in those days. 
Then broadcasters found out they could make money putting
on news.  And that is when the newscasts started going
          Then a lot of the regulations were dropped, and
programs right and left were dropped.  There were no more
minority shows on the air.
          I think today's survey that we saw is somewhat
misleading.  They talk a lot about disasters.  Television
stations love disasters.  People turn on their sets when
there are disasters.  Of course broadcasting tornado

warnings and blizzards and floods is operating in the
public interest.  But it is also serving the broadcaster
very well, because the ratings go shooting up.  They sell
commercials during those times and they look good.
          But they are ignoring so many, many other
things, other than disaster.  The minority communities in
many big cities are completely ignored now, except for
maybe a news story once a year that is poorly done.
          These are the things that I think broadcasting
is really failing in today.  And I think one of the
reasons you cannot go with the old NAB code, when that was
in effect, broadcasters were owning television stations. 
Broadcasters really are not across the country now.  It is
Mickey Mouse and liquor companies and a guy that used to
be an Australian, and electric companies.  And it is not
real broadcasters doing broadcasting anymore.
          Again, I say that the good guys are at the table
here.  I am not talking about you guys.  I am talking
about the huge corporations that really have no idea what
broadcasting could be.
          There can be good, public interest broadcasting
if a little effort is put into it.  The problem was they
would just throw somebody in front of a set and let them
sit down and talk for a half an hour.  Well, that is
boring to anybody.  You know, they did not go out and

produce it.  And you do not have to spend tons of money in
your local community to produce some good public interest
broadcasting if you have got a couple of good-hearted
people that are willing to work their asses off and do it. 
The problem is they will not even give them the air time
          So I am real concerned about the real local
stuff that just is completely forgotten today.  I do not
know if Gigi's proposal is the answer.  I love her
proposal.  I think it is too far out, and I cannot see it
ever getting through this Commission.  But we have got to
do something.  We have got to recommend something that
goes back to really serving our local communities.  I am
not talking about national public service spots, I am
talking about local, local, local, local issues.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Karen.
          MS. STRAUSS:  I have a few comments.  One of the
pertains to the survey this morning, just going back a
little bit.
          There has been a lot of seemingly assumptions
made that this survey showed just how much the
broadcasters had done in the way of public interest
programming.  And I guess I just do not see that when I
look at the figures.  So I do not know if I am missing
something, but I see 47 percent of broadcasters did not

offer to sponsor candidate forums, including debates, for
which candidates would not be charged.  I see 49 percent
did not air any local public affairs programs dealing with
the 1996 elections.
          I see a question, again, about locally produced
public affairs programs -- a question kind of out there,
saying, did you air any locally produced public affairs
programs in the last year at all, ever, dealing with --
and then listing a whole list of subject matters.  Again,
it could have been 1 minute.  It could have been 30
seconds.  It is very unclear to me that this survey
demonstrates a significant amount of public interest
          Now that I have said that, I want to just
augment a little bit Gigi's proposal with respect to my
issues, because mine were also to be incorporated into her
proposal.  And I apologize.  I had thought that this
insert that you received today was going to be mailed out
to the committee before today.  But hopefully most of you
have had a chance to read it.
          First, I want to add some things that are not on
this proposal that tie into what Gigi had said.  And that
is, first of all, where there is a requirement for public
interest programming, I would just like to tack on that
wherever those requirements go, that such programming be

accessible to people with disabilities.  And more often
than not, that is going to require closed captioning.  It
probably will not require video description if it is
public affairs or other news kinds of programs, because
those are verbal anyway.
          In addition, Gigi mentioned the requirement for
broadcasters to maintain program lists that describe the
program, when it is on, et cetera.  And I would add,
describing whether it is closed captioned.
          My proposal -- I am just going to go through it
very, very briefly, and answer questions later on, after
we talk about other issues -- first, is to create a
mandate for broadcasters to take full advantage of the new
closed captioning technologies.  We had had a panel
discussion a few months ago that talked about the fact
that digital technologies may enhance closed captions for
caption viewers -- deaf and hard of hearing people and
children learning to read.  And broadcasters should be
required to take advantage of the added bandwidth.  I do
not think that it is going to be very expensive and it
would enhance captioning viewing significantly.
          The second proposal is moving to a somewhat
different area than we have been focusing on.  And it
really moves more to the supplementary and ancillary
services and alternative uses that might be used by

digital programmers or digital broadcasters, specifically
including the rapid delivery of huge amounts of data,
interactive educational materials and other video
subscription or non-subscription services.
          There are now laws in Congress that were
recently passed to require telecommunications products and
services to be accessible to people with disabilities. 
And I would urge this Commission to extend that
requirement to digital programming technologies, these
other ancillary services.
          The third proposal is to allocate sufficient
bandwidth for the transmission and delivery of video
descriptions.  Most of you were present at the panel
discussion of video descriptions, but basically these
consist of verbal descriptions of the key visual elements
in video programming that are inserted into natural pauses
in the program's dialogue without interfering with the
original audio of the program.
          What I have done in this paper is just to ask
for sufficient bandwidth to be set aside.  Up until now,
analog TV has not been very friendly to video description
because it is typically transmitted via the SAP channel,
the second audio programming channel, and that
increasingly has been used for Spanish language
programming.  But the possibilities with digital

transmissions are endless.  There would be much more audio
bandwidth that permits the transmission and delivery of
video descriptions.
          I have not, in this particular proposal,
recommended a specific percentage of programming to be
video described.  However, I would still like to keep that
idea open in our committee, and would be very pleased if
this committee agreed to some kind of percentage to
recommend to the FCC.  I think that it is going to happen
anyway.  It is just a matter of time.  And we may want to
use our resources in this committee to make a
          And just so that you know, in some of the
comments that you received from the public, you may have
seen that Britain already has a requirement for video
description -- a 10-percent requirement -- that is going
to go into effect fairly soon.
          In addition, I am recommending that we recommend
to the Commission that all television manufacturers to
have receivers that support a certain type of capability
that enables the descriptions to be delivered separately
from a program's main audio.  I recognize that we are not
in the TV manufacturing business.  But I see this
committee, again, as a committee of expertise, and I think
that we can recommend, basically, anything we want.

          And, finally, I have been approached by radio
reading services, which I will acknowledge I do not know a
whole lot about myself, but I have been informed by them
that although they typically use subcarrier radio space,
that that space is continually being threatened.  And by
setting aside a very small fraction of bandwidth for the
distribution of radio reading signals, we would enable
radio reading services to continue for blind and visually
impaired people.
          Thank you.
          MR. MINOW:  I would like to take a minute on
philosophy in a broad way.  We started broadcasting in
this country with a marketplace model that was in the
          Stations started interfering with each other,
and nobody could hear their radio, so the broadcasters
went to the Government and said, gee, the marketplace
doesn't work here.  We've got to have some governmental
intervention and some rules and regulations so that
broadcasting can work and that listeners can hear the
          That's how the thing started.  The Government
intervened at the request of the people who were trying a
marketplace model which failed.  As a result, the FCC was
created, assigned channels and frequencies on an exclusive

basis, and said to some people you can't have a license,
and said to other people you can have a license.  Some
people were turned down.
          More people were turned down than were given
licenses, and the ones who got the licenses got them in
exchange for a promise.  They said, we will not follow the
marketplace.  We will follow the public interest,
convenience, and necessity.  Those are not terms of the
marketplace.  Those are terms of regulation.  Those are
terms taken from the Interstate Commerce Act.
          And so we started off with an ambivalence in
this country trying to encourage people to go into
broadcasting, to risk their money, to do well, we hope,
but at the same time we said, to serve the public
interest.  We never abandoned that.
          Now, why do I say this?  Gigi said that the pay
or play model does not seem to be flying well here.  The
pay or play model is a way out of that conundrum.  The pay
or play model says, for those people who don't want to
have a public interest obligation, fine, we'll go to the
marketplace, just like cellular telephone.  We will have
an auction.  Anybody who gets the highest bid can have a
license, and they don't have to serve the public interest. 
They can do what they please.
          You don't want that, you don't want to be in an

auction, you want to serve the public interest, then let's
agree on what the public interest is.
          Now, I don't see why pay or play is so
unappealing to people.  For those people who want the
marketplace, pay or play is a perfect solution.  They can
be freed of any governmental intervention of any kind. 
They don't have to provide equal time to candidates.  They
don't have to provide any time to candidates.  They don't
have to do children's programs.  They don't have to do
          MS. STRAUSS:  What about disability access?
          MR. MINOW:  Disability access would not be
required because you've got a marketplace.  You don't have
the Government intervening.
          Disability access I regard as a very important
thing, because I believe the Government should intervene
for people who are disabled, but for those people who want
the marketplace, then let's say to them, fine, you can
have the marketplace.  Go into an auction.
          For those people who don't want the marketplace,
then let's agree on what the public interest is.
          I think it is important that if we have a
philosophical difference, we at least know what we're
talking about.
          MS. CHARREN:  What's important about that is

that it's an auction and not just some number that the
broadcaster says, well, this is what it cost me to do
that, so this is what I'm going to give up.  I mean, that
has to be enough money.  But that is not what I wanted to
talk about.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I would just add one note to what
Newt said.  I mean, certainly one way, if we were to
achieve a compromise in this area, and it may not be
possible, but the compromise is along the lines of giving
broadcasters a choice, and one choice is to operate under
the existing framework of obligations as we have them, and
the other choice which they're open to make is that in
return for a fee a la Henry Geller you're absolved of the
          Now, you can negotiate over what that fee should
be.  That would let broadcasters who believe we have a
compact here to work that out, and those who don't, to
operate otherwise, and with those fees you then have an
opportunity to step in and smooth out rough bumps, but not
by requiring things, by in effect allocating resources to
overcome them, so that's something at least we can throw
out there as a way to achieve balance.
          But let me just suggest that before we get into
a lengthy discussion of that particular issue, and without
getting into the very divisive question of whether this

allocation of the digital spectrum is some enormous
windfall or some tremendous burden, which gets us nowhere,
that we simply return in our sensitivities to the first
discussion that we had.
          What Robert put out there, and Gigi, also, is a
way to approach some of these difficult issues where we
can get win-win, and in effect find ways to serve the
public interest, moving forward without getting caught on
the shoals of deep, divisive ideological differences.
          And I would suggest that even as we look at many
of these ideas, that we all try and take that leap forward
and see if there are ways of approaching this that would
not impose great new regulatory burdens on or start with a
premise that boy, we're going to sock it to you because of
this great windfall you've gotten, but try and find a way
to move into this new world and find resources that we can
use to satisfy everybody's purposes.
          One suggestion I would make here is maybe some
variation of one of these proposals.  If we move into this
world -- and there is no requirement in the
Telecommunications Act that broadcasters go entirely to
high definition programming.  It's left open.
          But there is an assumption made that is not
entirely implicit that in effect we have a one-for-one
transfer here, that it's a period of time where basically

it is going to be one channel for one channel.
          And one way out of this conundrum is to suggest
that where broadcasters multicast, during those times of
the day, or if they want to make the decision to go for
many channels here, for what may or may not be some great
commercial benefit -- and none of us knows whether this
will work in the marketplace or not, but that under those
circumstances that they provide channel capacity or
resources for public interest purposes.
          I think lots of Members of Congress who think
that we should not be adding additional responsibilities
will resonate to that.  I think it's a perfectly fair
thing to suggest, and there are lots of ways which we
could move to that kind of a situation and maybe move past
a lot of these devices.
          So let me just clarify, because I think in some
ways it's not as clear as it should be, and I will punish
myself for that later.  Following up on what you said,
that's exactly what I was talking about.  For the hours
that broadcasters are not using full resolution high
definition television they should set aside one channel.
          And again, it doesn't have to be -- that's
another thing I want to clarify.  It doesn't necessarily
have to be for video, and they can turn -- one of the
ideas I have had is having partnerships with local

community groups who maybe want to use it for Internet
service or data service.
          MR. MOONVES:  You mean, talking about a time
when they may use 1080 during one point after going down
to another thing, and then they're going to a multicasting
at that point?
          MS. SOHN:  That's right, so that capacity is
used for public interest uses.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  One of the things we had
suggested by the higher education people when they came
forward is data transmission, but as I would look at your
proposal, Gigi, the first bullet, we may be able to find
some broad area of agreement.
          When you get to the second bullet, which is when
they're doing high definition television, we're going to
sock additional responsibilities on.  Then I think we have
greater difficulty.
          MS. SOHN:  Let me clarify.  That's not what it
          MR. SUNSTEIN:  I don't know if the two of you
are agreeing or disagreeing, but Norm's idea, as I
understand it, is when there's more than one signal, more
than one show.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I would say if you want to go to
three or more signals.

          MR. SUNSTEIN:  Then the public interest
obligations would attach.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Then you take one channel and set
them aside, or we find some variations.
          MS. SOHN:  I wouldn't say three.  I would say
more than one.  That's a little different.
          MR. DUHAMEL:  But if you go to the second one,
then you've got to go to three.
          MS. SOHN:  We can talk about that.  What do you
mean, you have to go to three?
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  If you gave up two and you only
had one, you would have one.
          MS. SOHN:  Let me just clarify, because we're
misunderstanding each other, and I will apologize for lack
of clarify.  It's very hard to put this into English.  If
you are a broadcaster that does full resolution high
definition television for more than 12 hours a day, then
the 20 percent program time would attach.
          So it's not a matter of, if you do high
definition television 12 or fewer hours a day your only
obligation is to do the extra channel for those hours that
you're not doing full high definition television, okay. 
That's if you do it from zero to 12 hours a day.
          The other one is, for the majority of the day,
more than 12 hours a day you do full high definition

television.  That's when the second bullet kicks in.  It's
mutually exclusive.  They are intended to apply to two
different situations.
          MR. DUHAMEL:  But that's different.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I'm saying if broadcasters are
doing high definition television.
          MS. SOHN:  More than 12 hours a day.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I think we would have great
difficulty coming to an agreement that there should be, if
this ends up being a one-for-one transfer, some
substantial additional obligation that would accrue.
          That's very different than -- if you in fact use
this for something very different from what we have now,
which has the potential for great commercial advantage,
then you going to have to provide something more for the
public interest.
          But if in the end we do indeed exchange one
analogue channel for one digital channel, I do not think
we will find agreement that we should add, you know, a
bunch of new responsibilities on there.  That's what I'm
          MS. SOHN:  Well, I could argue that even if you
did tie it up 24 hours a day, that that gives added
benefit, but we can move on.
          MS. CHARREN:  I have tried for all of these

meetings not to concentrate on children's programming in
part because that's all I've talked about for 30 years,
but in reading the NAB's statement of principles it
reminds me of the NAB code, which I used to read when it
was in place.
          What it says about children is that programs
designed primarily for children should take into account
the range of interest and needs of children.  From
informational material to a wide variety of entertainment
material children's programs should attempt to contribute
to the sound, balanced development of children and to help
them achieve a sense of the world at large.
          Now, they're not talking here about public
broadcasting.  They're talking about commercial
television.  If this was really in place as the raison
d'etre for commercial television programs for children I
never would have started Action for Children's Television
30 years ago.
          This is what the public interest would involve
in kids' programming.  It was not working like this, and
the Children's Television Act is proof that it wasn't
working like that.  I mean, Congress is not a bunch of
morons.  If this was happening there would be no law. 
That's one point, which is -- if you're talking about
codes, it's nice if somebody looks at the codes once in a

while and sees how they're working.
          Secondly, I think there's a need to think of
public affairs programming for young audiences, which we
tend not to say.  I mean, when there's requirements to do
news and public affairs, for example, we don't think about
for young audiences.
          Now, I'm not talking about preschoolers, but you
can vote at 18.  If you're programming for preteen and
teenage audiences, for example, there's a way of thinking
about news and public affairs.  If you're talking about
kids have to learn to participate in democracy, there's a
way of thinking about programming to get them involved in
communities, or whatever.
          And when we're writing some code of behavior
that we talked about, I think the idea that young
audiences are part of this, not just narrowly mentioned
education, not just programming that's delicious and
delightful, but public affairs, which is -- of all the
kinds of things missing from children's television, that's
the biggest miss.
          Just a statement to get that in.
          MR. MOONVES:  Once again, to go back,
philosophically, number 1, Gigi, I genuinely want to thank
you for, I think, outlining the major issues that we're
going to be dealing with.  By the same token -- and

obviously, it's a point of view on all of these issues
that you've come up with and written about very well -- we
have to start thinking about where we can compromise and
where we can't to come to a consensus.
          There are a lot of things on this list that will
not be acceptable to a number of people here, so I think
we have addressed them, and I think you've outlined them,
and I think you've outlined them very well.
          I think we have to deal right now with the
general principle of what we're trying to do, and then we
can get into some of the specifics of Peggy and Karen,
what you're talking about, within those general
          At no point during this are the economics
outlined or discussed at all.  As we head into the age of
digital, and we're taking in some ways baby steps and in
some ways giant steps, does the public interest obligation
have anything to do with a) the amount of money being
spent, and the amount of money supposedly -- and we don't
know -- eventually that will be earned?
          If digital turns out to be the great, great
"gift" that a lot of people think it is, at that point in
time certain things should be kicked in.  If digital,
which at this point, especially for the smaller stations,
as Bill has pointed out many times, is an incumbrance,

that should be dealt with in a certain way.
          And I think we can't make a general statement
right now about jumping in with both feet until we stick
our foot in the water, because that's what we're doing as
broadcasters right now, and I think it is important, once
again -- I know we have to underline it over and over
again, but we all know if we don't come out with something
that we all can live with, we're not going to come out
with very much at all.
          MR. CRUMP:  Another question is, when does the
digital age begin?  We're going to have some far-reaching
disagreements on this.  I, for one, do not think that the
digital age begins when we turn the set on, when we begin
to transmit digital signal and nobody receives it, or
very, very few, and then we come back to the premise of,
well, why do we have this gift of two channels for a
certain number of years?
          I would like to remind us that we do not have
two channels to have to program and transmit upon because
the broadcasters are going to make any additional money
          We are doing it for the American public, because
if we were to go to a digital signal on a given date, and
we turned off the analogue signal, most of the country
would be disenfranchised automatically, and certainly all

of the lower income groups, and I think we have to keep
this in the back of our minds as we go forward.
          I mean, we've got two radios going at the
moment, and thousands of stations.  It just seems to me
that as we go forward -- and we have two diverse views
here, which we obviously do, more than two, but two large
ones.  We have to keep some of these basic things in mind,
that from an economic standpoint -- and we can argue back-
and-forth about the give-away, but we're investing moneys
to try and grow a new business that does not exist today.
          And that brings me back to something that
perhaps you've heard before, but don't forget when we talk
about what we broadcasters got given to us in the way of
television stations, anybody in this room in 1948 for 2
cents, 2 pennies, outside of the top five markets, could
have had a television license by simply writing on a post
card that they purchased at the post office for 2 cents
and saying to the FCC, I want to put a television station
on.  I promise I will do so.  Please give me a
construction permit.  They were trying to give them away
and nobody would take them.
          The people that did assume the obligation had to
invest a lot of money, a great deal of money for that time
and day in order to take the risk and grow it and make it
grow, and yes, we've had people, and we have people today

that are making tons of money out of this thing, but
folks, there has been tons of money lost since I got into
this business way back in 1956.  That's stations that went
under in trying to make UHF grow and go, and we have
finally managed to, but this has been a risk business, and
it has paid off for us.
          Digital is a risk as well.  I don't think
myself, personally, that it is nearly as great a risk as
those pioneers took part in back in the forties and
fifties, but it is still a risk, and I would hope we would
keep this in the backs of our minds as we go forward
trying to decide what it is we want to require to be done. 
This is not a gimme.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  We have Cass, Paul, Richard, Jim,
then Charles.
          MR. SUNSTEIN:  I just want to isolate four
points in what Gigi did that may be our last
contentious -- and we should keep them on the table.
          One is this idea of triennial review of public
interest obligations.  A lot of people, Robert and others,
have talked about the need for flexibility, that notion
that anything that's done needs to be reviewed in a
certain period of time.  That is, I think, an excellent
          A second idea is that any free air time in

positions that there are should be accompanied by no less
than 1 minute in duration, and the candidate appears in no
less than 50 percent of the messages, that raises some
constitutional issues.  I don't think they're decisive. 
It's a little bit contentious.  That's a very interesting
idea, so even if we don't agree with the more ambitious
suggestions, that should be retained.
          The phrasing of the disability provision is, I
think, extremely good.  In the executive summary it says,
ensure that the disability community has appropriate
access to digital programming, what exactly that might
mean in the debate, but to hold onto that as something we
can work with.  I think that is a third good thing.
          The fourth good thing I think here -- and by
good, I mean, not to say the others aren't good, but we
may be able to get broad agreement that these are worth
continuing to think about, is this idea of a quarterly
issues program list in their public files.
          Now, maybe I'm missing something about the
burden imposed by that, but it is astonishing that until
our opening report this morning we -- this particular
commission had no idea what the data looks like, and now
we know the data for 42 percent of the market.
          Something like this, a quarterly issues programs
list with no necessary regulatory accompaniment, that's a

very useful idea.  In the environmental context, that's
been the most successful environmental program we've had. 
Just collect the data, and then the market tends to work,
and people tend to respond flexibly and low cost, so
that's a very good idea.
          So it would be great if we could keep those
four, whatever we do with the rest.
          On the more controversial ones, let me just
isolate three concerns that we might be able to point to
in marching towards something that we could agree to.  One
concern is, is this a bureaucratic nightmare?
          In the sense I think those that are skeptical
about this think that it would be costly for the FCC and
it would put the FCC in the position of making decisions
that we ought to nervous about having made by a
governmental body, whether or not that's decisive, that's
one category of concern.
          A second concern Les just referred to is just
how costly is this for broadcasters, and many people
wouldn't be very upset if it's somewhat costly for
broadcasters, but that is a social cost, and if we can
keep that cost down, by all means, let's.
          A third concern is how much better would this
regulatory regime or any other regulatory regime be than
the status quo?  I think a critic might say, look, given

the data we now have, this would produce people with not
much incentive to have public interest broadcasting doing
it badly, and then we would have people turning the TV
stations off.  That is not so great.
          So one possibility is that it wouldn't
accomplish its own goal.  It's possible we would get more
stuff, and kids would have more educational programming. 
It seems to me we can isolate these concerns,
administrative problems, cost for broadcasters, and how
much better than the status quo.  Then we could evaluate
this as against the alternatives that we're thinking
          MR. LACAMERA:  This is a little, now, late in
the discussion, but I did want to respond somewhat to what
Shelby said.  She and I share a long Boston broadcasting
heritage.  On the other hand, I always think there's a
danger in trying to romanticize or recreate the past in
our business, and in turn look at the current situation
with a large degree of cynicism which I think has been
expressed in some cases throughout the day by this group.
          There is no doubt that change has occurred. 
It's been necessitated by the growth of new technologies,
competition, and what is really the fragmentation, the
audience erosion that free over-the-air broadcasting is
experiencing over these past few years.

          At the same time, there's been a concurrent
growth in local news, which also again seems to be viewed
somewhat cynically by this group, but that is a meaningful
and increasingly important service and, like anything
else, it varies in its quality from market to market.
          The much-too-facile pejorative that if it bleeds
it leads may be the case in some cities and,
unfortunately, in some major cities, but I don't think it
is the standard.  It certainly isn't in our city, where at
least two of the three television stations there still
provide quality, serious product, including Shelby's alma
mater and my current station.
          Bill talked this morning a little bit about the
current situation and the fate of public affairs
programming, and that's something Gigi seems to be
appropriately concerned about, and because of my roots, I
am as well, and what's happened there, it has been
absorbed by a lot of stations into the growing phenomenon
of weekend morning and midday newscasts.
          If there's been a growth area in local news, it
has been in the very early morning, and weekend mornings
and weekend middays, and a lot of stations have
consciously taken their marginal public affairs entities,
which at one time may have had slash marks, and 1 ratings
and 2 ratings, and incorporated them within the larger

framework of new weekend newscasts, where again the
ratings, as in Bill's case, are significantly higher.
          In turn, as you measure a station's involvement
in public affairs initiatives, or activities by surveys or
a census like this morning, or the survey Charles and Gigi
did, that maybe doesn't come through and that needs to be
looked at a little bit more closely.
          Among Gigi's recommendations, the one that
engages me the most is the one about the quarterly issues
reporting.  I think of all the things that we do, that is
one of the most important, yet in turn can be one of the
most neglected.
          I think if it's taken more seriously, if it's
enhanced, as you suggested, it will provide an
introspection for local television stations to understand
better what they're doing amidst the changes that I
described, to be sure they're living up to the minimum
standards that Jim and others of us would like to see
formalized a bit, and allow them to improve their current
situation, so certainly on that measure I would be not
only fully supportive but enthusiastic.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Richard, and then we have Jim
Goodman and Charles.
          MR. MASUR:  I just want to make a general
comment which will maybe be helpful or not.  Having just

come out of 7 weeks of solid sitting across the table and
negotiating, I fully admit I may be stuck in that mode.
          But part of what I wanted to ask the group,
we're trying to do something that's very difficult here. 
Without formally splitting off into two teams and
negotiating across the table with each other we have
essentially defined two strong positions from which we're
trying to find -- let's not say a compromise, but as has
correctly been said, points of consensus which we can move
forward with.
          And one of the things that occurs to me is that
we are all involved in negotiations all the time in what
we do, and I think it is second nature to us, and I just
want to ask if people feel it is possible to give up the
normal process, which is stake-out positions strongly and
fairly and flexibly, and then find a couple or three
things you can talk about and then try and add into that.
          I don't know that we have the time, nor do we
have the structure to be able to do that, and so I guess
one question is, can we approach this a little bit
differently and say, all right, we've defined where the
differences are very well, I think, through the two
proposals, and there are several points of contact.
          Can we say -- can we ask people -- and this is a
suggestion to the chairs to think about.  Assuming we were

at the night before we had to make a decision about this,
could we ask people to make that assumption that we're at
that point, and then sometime between now and when we meet
again, try and define for yourselves what really are the
breaking positions and where there is some room to wiggle,
and assume that people will be honest in not taking
positions on that level.
          The only reason I bring this up is because
otherwise what I think we will see is coming out with less
than we might be able to for lack of time and for lack of
a structure to be able to accomplish the normal
negotiation in.
          If we can really think, gee, if I had to, where
could I go to and live with that, and how could I make
what the other person wants work, and I think both sides,
as it were, have to think in that same regard.  How can I
make what the other side is looking for, or what I define
as the other side is looking for, how can I make that work
within a whole, and if we did that, I don't know, possibly
we could come up with a much richer recommendation than we
are likely to, than if we just confine ourselves to what
we know we can agree to.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  That's very useful, Richard.  Let
me suggest the following, given our timetable, that maybe
this is as good a time as any to kind of talk about where

we go from here.
          We have about seven weeks until our next
meeting, which is June 8.  We then move into the summer,
          I would hope that we would target around the
middle of September to a time when we have a report in
hand that we can basically vote on, or try to agree to
through some consensus process.
          And what we suggest is the following, that after
we leave here, having been enriched by these proposals and
our discussion and our previous meetings, that each of you
take it upon yourselves to write a little memo to the co-
chairs with your ideas here, focusing in particular on
those areas, including innovative ones, if you can, where
we might advance our cause and reach a consensus.
          But if you have other strong points, if you
mention them as well, we will take them and try and
synthesize them ourselves, and synergize them and come up
with a position paper.
          Perhaps we could call it the co-chairmen's mark,
in a sense, that we would circulate to you in advance of
our next meeting and try and make that the basis for our
discussion, hoping that it forms the core of the set of
recommendations that we would make, and use our next
meeting to discuss that and see if we can emerge from that

with a general consensus, move from there towards the
drafting of a report.
          Now, I would hope that -- 
          MR. MOONVES:  Two things to add to that, a)
please keep them as short as possible, and b) there may be
some issues where, instead of the chairman putting
together a consensus, we will in fact pose the questions
on those specific issues, and hopefully in a few cases,
some of which Cass has mentioned, some of which were in
Gigi's report, and some of which were in Robert's report,
where we seem to have an agreement on that.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Exactly, and not necessarily come
up with something with every single element in it, but the
kind of core.
          In the meantime, after this meeting, it seems to
me that -- see what you think about this, Les, that we
would try and pull together with volunteers and otherwise
two subgroups, one on this broad question of the
educational proposal and see where we can take it, given
all the questions that we have raised that puts it into
the best form possible, or even raises some points of
contention that we, or interest we would want to vote on.
          And a second on the code, that we could take
forward to try and work forward from the existing code,
and not just think about new language, but also ways to

make sure that without requiring things that we could add
to the probability that broadcasters would pay attention
to that code.
          MS. CHARREN:  Could you ask the NAB for the old
code, which was much more -- had many more pieces?
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I think we had that old code
given to us.  We had that at one of our earlier meetings,
but I will make sure that additional copies are sent.
          MR. MOONVES:  Jack, can you get a copy of the
old code from the NAB to all of us?
          MR. GOODMAN:  Yes.
          MS. CHARREN:  That's the one that was illegal.
          MR. MOONVES:  The bootleg version.
          MR. MOONVES:  You go to Hong Kong to get a copy
of it.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I would suggest the following as
well.  I would ask you each to communicate with our staff,
going back to the old calendar model with your schedules
for September, so we can try and find a date.
          I mean, we obviously -- what we would like to do
is get -- if all of this works well, sometime around 1
August we would be able to get you, or the early part of

August, a draft of a report so that you would have August
and a little bit more, because some of us are not going to
be around in August.  It may provide you beach reading.
          The first week or 10 days or 2 weeks of
September -- go over it and consider what you think, and
then we need to have a meeting perhaps here in Washington
in September, I would think sometime in the second week of
September, to see if we can ratify and then move forward
as rapidly as we can from there to make sure we meet our
October 1 deadline.
          MR. CRUMP:  Did I understand you to say we would
not have a meeting from June 8 until September?
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  We may decide at our June 8
meeting that indeed we do have to meet again. I'm afraid,
given all of us in July and August, that if we can start
with the assumption that we won't need that, we're better
off, but we may have to, and we may end up having to
delegate some of that responsibility.
          MS. EDWARDS:  I was just going to suggest that,
given how tight everybody's schedule is, that we not only
ask for September's but we ask for August as well.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Why don't we provide our
schedules from mid-July through September.
          MR. CRUZ:  Didn't we submit those already?
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  We need an update at this point,

particularly for September.
          MS. EDWARDS:  Not only an update, but I think
some people haven't had a chance to do that yet.
          MR. DUHAMEL:  One suggestion.  If you decide
there should be a meeting, I would think with a first
rough draft there might be some benefit to get together
and talk about it, but I would suggest either you come up
to the Black Hills, where we have Mount Rushmore, or we
can go out -- the Rocky Mountain Broadcasters used to meet
about every August, and there are some beautiful mountain
          MR. MOONVES:  How about the South of France?
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Clearly, the best way for us to
go is to get a Herb Alan to invite us all to his
conference in the summertime.  Don't you think Herb Alan
could invite us out to his conference and we could meet
          We should break, but before we break, we have
three people who had asked to speak, and I think we should
hear from them, and that's Jim Goodmon, Charles and Frank,
and then we will have our break and come back for some
public comment.
          MR. GOODMON:  I want to say again how important

I think the NAB report is, and that I believe it
understates to some degree what broadcasters are doing,
and it's very important we did that, and we continue to do
          Having said that, I'm not sure that it really is
relevant to what our charge is, particularly -- and let me
also say that I hope we don't talk too much about we can't
reach consensus, and the areas that are contentious we're
not going to talk about, because I think that's what we
ought to talk about, and I still have a goal of trying to
get everybody together here.
          But the two notions -- and I want to say this
again.  The first notion is that we are getting licenses
from the Government to operate these stations and the
notion that the Government expects us to do something in
return for giving us those licenses makes a whole lot of
sense.  I cannot argue with that.
          Here's what I think we can get this committee to
vote, and let me just say it like this.  The majority of
this committee -- let me tell you where I think we agree
and where we don't agree, and make one suggestion.
          Should there be public interest standards for
broadcasters?  I think everybody here thinks so.  The
question is whether they should be required or not.
          We talk about whether they're voluntary or

whether they're required.  Now, my notion about that is, a
reasonable position is that there should be public
interest, a minimum, very minimum set of public interest
requirements in the law, and that there should be an NAB
code that frankly sets a little higher level.
          That's something different from what is
reasonable for the Government to expect us to do as
broadcasters.  There's a question of whether it's
voluntary or whether it's required, and I'm saying we
ought to do both, and I'm suggesting that this list of
required is very easy.  It's PSA's.  It's local public
affairs programming.  It's local news.  It's
ascertainment.  It's how can the public be sure that it
has some access.
          The one area in which I see no hope, and I'm
leaving off this list, is free commercial time for
politicians.  I can't get this in any possible framework.
          This notion of accountability is a great one. 
The annual review by the NAB or the FCC or somebody as to
how we're doing in terms of in the industry I think is a
real good one.
          The notion of auxiliary fees, whatever, they
might be going to public broadcasting, is wonderful. 
Public broadcasting is very important, and we're all with

          And ascertainment is very important.  I'm not
giving up hope that we can get that notion out of this
committee.  I mean, I think we can get to that.  I'm not
giving up on that.  That's all I'm saying.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Charles, do you want to pass now?
          MR. BENTON:  Just very quickly I would respond
to Harold's comments about a half-an-hour ago, a couple of
quick points.
          I'm inspired by the quality of the papers and
presentations today, and I think we've come a long way
under the leadership of our co-chairs, and I think really
this is very exciting.
          The one thing that I really feel deeply about
and am not sure how we can get this across, but it's the
notion of, we're at a point in the process here, and this
process needs to be continued.  Gigi said it in her paper,
with the 3-year review.  Cass mentioned it in his
comments, and others have addressed it.
          But for the administration and the FCC, let
alone Congress to want to continue this process we've got
to really produce a quality product, and I think we're
going to be judged by the quality and originality of our
ideas in solving these very thorny issues at the end of
the day.
          And certainly one of them is, since digital

television, digital broadcasting, broadcast television is
genuinely in its infancy, and we don't have a clue as to
where we're going to be 5 years from now, this should be
the beginning of a process of citizen involvement, citizen
and broadcaster involvement together on this, addressing
this issue hopefully of the quality of discussion and
productivity that we have seen to date, and hopefully will
be even more improved in the next meeting and in our final
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Terrific.  That's a good spot at
which to break.  We will come back at about -- just after
4:15 and have some public comment, and then end up.
          MR. MOONVES:  Now is the portion of our program
where we are open to public comments, questions and
answers.  If anybody would like to do any of the above
please step up to the microphone.  It's right over there
on your left.  Anyone.  Going once.
          And please identify yourself when you get to the
          MR. HATCH:  David Hatch for Electronic Media
Magazine.  I just have a question.  If Mr. Ornstein or
Mr. Moonves can just elaborate on what you mean by a code
of conduct, if this would be something that would be
voluntary or mandatory, and exactly which code of conducts

would it be modeled after?
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  I think we start with the old NAB
code, which for a variety of reasons was challenged on
antitrust grounds.  Presumably we would try and get past
those, and probably recommend that the Antitrust Division
or the Federal Trade Commission provide a little leeway
here for these purposes.
          But we would start with that and then try and
build on that to the digital age, with no expectation, I
think, that this would be itself mandatory, certainly not
Government mandate, but we would explore ways to try to
put a code out there that would be a standard for
broadcasters to meet, and part of our consideration is on
that Jim Goodmon suggested, which is something we're going
to have to debate.
          Is there a minimum set of standards that are
requirements, followed by a higher set that we hope to
achieve?  Is it all basically a set of standards that is
set out for broadcasters, and then you just simply hope
that the world of peer pressure will take them to meet
those standards?
          Is it a set of standards with a sort of norm of
what seems to be good performance and sensitivity to the
public interest, particularly if we throw in the idea, a
variation of it that Gigi has mentioned in her proposal

that has met with some widespread enthusiasm of regular
reporting of what people are doing that then becomes
available for the public record, and also something,
clearly, that the FCC would have available to it as it
considered all of the various questions involving the
stations, but not with the requirement.
          We haven't settled specifically on those things, 
but we're certainly not talking about a code that would
become a Government mandate.
          MR. MOONVES:  The only thing I would like to
add, I think the word voluntary will be a very important
word as we begin our deliberations shortly in a lot of
different areas.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Anybody else want to take on the
question of the code?
          MR. MASUR:  Just to that, jumping off what Jim
said earlier, do you perceive that there is some room here
to have some limited number of baseline requirements, and
then a more extensive voluntary code?  He brought it up,
and that's just in the spirit of trying to do what I was
talking about before.  Is that in the realm of
          MR. MOONVES:  I think that is something that
will be up for conversation at our next meeting.
          MR. MASUR:  As long as that's the case.

          MR. MOONVES:  I think that's certainly something
we're going to have to discuss quite a bit.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  And remember, too, if we talk
about a minimum baseline of requirements, that that can
mean a minimum baseline of requirements that are
Government requirements, or it could mean a minimum
baseline of requirements that are NAB requirements, in
effect the NAB saying to its new members we expect you to
do at least this, and we hope you aspire to do that.
          I mean, you can handle leverage in different
          MR. MOONVES:  Let's remember something.  We
can't require anybody to do anything.
          MS. SCOTT:  We can recommend.
          MR. MOONVES:  Yes, we can.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  We've got almost unlimited powers
of recommendation.
          MR. MOONVES:  Anybody else out there, comments
or questions, anything?
          In terms of closing comments, then, I will turn
it over to you.  Thank you to the NAB for hosting us in
such a nice place and making us very comfortable here.
          I'd like to thank everybody.  I'd like to
especially thank Gigi and Robert for their preparation of
those reports, which I think give us a good basis for

jumping off on a lot of the discussion as we head towards
the next few months.
          And thank Karen and Ann very much, once again,
for their hard work on behalf of all of us.  They do an
extraordinary job, and we all appreciate that.
          And I would like to thank my co-chairman, Mr.
Ornstein.  Now it's all yours.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Thank you.  A couple of brief
comments about the public communications, then I know Gigi
had something brief to say, and I'll see if other members
want to say something, and I just have one final comment.
          We have gotten a communication from the Kentucky
Broadcasters offering to host one of our meetings, which
we will certainly consider.  I think it is -- probably it
is difficult in terms of having somebody who is not
connected to the committee host a meeting for us in a
variety of ways.
          We are obviously going to have to consider, if
we have future meetings, where they will be.  It is
something that I throw out to you.  My own judgment is,
it's probably unlikely we will take them up on their
hospitality, but I wanted to note their offer and thank
them for it.
          We also have a communication from the Interfaith
Broadcasters, and I had several of the members of this

panel, which is clergy from across a number of
denominations, who were in town and asked if they could
meet with me and came and talked, and I suggested that
they put their concerns in a memo so we could get it on
the public record, and it is an interesting memo which we
have, and I urge you all to read it.
          It provides some of the history of broadcasting
by religious organizations.  This is not -- this is
basically in some ways entertainment programming for, not
the usual religious programming that's been done in the
past, and some concern about access there.
          And clearly, as we talk about access of various
groups to this process, and we have -- in many cases this
is one we need to give our consideration, and careful
consideration to as we move forward.  There's some
interesting history there in some of the programming that
has been done, so I would mention that.
          MS. SOHN:  I just want to follow up on what
Richard said and also what you said, Norm, when people
give their position papers to the co-chairs to think
outside the box.
          I mean, my recommendations here I think make it
clear that what I and a number of other people on the
advisory committee, some who consulted with me on this and

some who have not, are concerned about is the lack of
local access, working with local community leaders and
local public affairs programs, if you want to call it that
way, local programming, period.
          And don't be wedded -- it is not necessary to be
wedded to the exact sort of number formulations and
capacity formulations that I have put out there.
          Understand what the concern is, and try to make
suggestions to meet that concern in different ways, if you
don't think -- I mean, I think these ways work just fine,
but I am certainly open to suggestions on how what I would
say many of us perceive to be a marketplace failure could
be fixed.
          MR. ORNSTEIN:  Let me leave you with the
following.  We are an advisory committee as Leslie has
suggested, and we all know we have no power per se, but it
has been made clear to me in the last few weeks that we
actually have more clout now than we had at the beginning
of our process, and our role I believe is an extremely
important one now.
          The Federal Communications Commission, the Vice
President's Office, and many prominent members of Congress
who range across the spectrum, including some who feel
very positively towards broadcasters and others who don't,
some who believe strongly in market solutions and others

who don't, have indicated to me that they're going to be
watching what we do very, very carefully.
          We actually have an opportunity here despite our
understandable skepticism about whether Congress will act
or can act on anything.  Education, just to pick one
issue, has become an enormously significant political
          If you will recall, the response that the
Majority Leader of the Senate, Trent Lott, gave to the
President's State of the Union message focused
overwhelmingly on education.
          There is a desire on the part of both parties to
find new and different ways of approaching these things,
and everybody is aware that the digital age is going to be
different, and people are grappling for consensus
approaches, out of the box thinking in some ways, new ways
to move forward.
          If we look at this era, because we do have this
opportunity and this dramatic expansion and availability
of space on the spectrum, we actually do have an
opportunity to find fusion approaches that can be win-
win, and what I find encouraging about this meeting is
that in each of these proposals we do have strong
positions staked out, but a clear signal of the
willingness to try and find ways that both of us or all of

us can agree to that can advance this forward and that
gives us a chance.
          So I would second what Gigi just said.  As you
think about your comments to us in the next couple of
weeks, think about the ideas that have been put forward
and pushing them a little bit forward, and innovative
things you might even come up with that would enable us to
move forward with something that is not going to set off
all the alarm bells on one side or the other, necessarily.
          And we've made some great progress here today in
finding many of those areas of common ground.  If we
manage to find more and to come up with a report that has
the overwhelming majority of us signed on, it will have
some considerable resonance, and very possibly for a long
period of time.
          So consider that in the next couple of weeks. 
Please communicate with us.  Please communicate with the
staff about your schedules so that we can create some
options for future dates, and we will be back to you soon
with some ideas about some of these subgroups as well.
          Thank you, and thank the NAB again for its
          (Whereupon, at 4:35 p.m., the meeting

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