Group president spoke at FCC Town Hall Aug. 31.

American Federal of Television and Radio Artists president John Connolly said Thursday (Aug. 31) that "consolidation of media ownership is doing irreparable harm to local and national news coverage and thus to the key fabric of democracy in our country."

Connolly spoke at the FCC Town Hall Meeting sponsored by the National Latino Media Council at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps were in attendance. The meeting is part of the on-going process initiated by the FCC to gather public opinion on the effects of media consolidation as the FCC considers re-writing of regulations and possible expansion of ownership limits.

"By allowing the reduction of outlets for diverse opinions via the concentration of power in fewer and fewer corporate hands, the Federal
Communications Commission condemns Americans to a country where the public interest suffers, democracy suffers, and working people suffer,” Connolly testified.

He added, "AFTRA members oppose the continued de-regulation of the media and entertainment industries—and the resulting continued concentration of ownership in fewer hands. We urge the commission to protect and enhance the fundamental right and public interest of the American people as true owners of the airwaves."