FCC's Mass Media Bureau Going Out

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Washington - Oct 16 - As part of Chairman Powell's ongoing efforts to reform the FCC, the Mass Media Bureau, which currently handles all radio and television matters, will be merged into the Cable Services Bureau, which currently handles all cable matters, to form a new "Media Bureau." The Media Bureau will handle AM, FM, LPFM, TV, LPTV, cable policy, EEO, political programming, and DBS (Direct Broadcast Satellite) post-licensing policy. DBS licensing will remain with the International Bureau. MMDS will be moved to the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau.

Within the Media Bureau there will be a separate Office of Broadcast License Policy, responsible for licensing functions. Under the Office of Broadcast License Policy will be an Audio Division (radio) and Video Division (TV and cable). The Media Bureau will also have a Policy Division, Engineering Division, and Industry Analysis Division. It will be at least several months before the merger is implemented.

The newly appointed chief of the Cable Services Bureau, Kenneth Ferree, will be chief of the new Media Bureau. The current chief of the Mass Media Bureau, Roy Stewart, is expected to play a key role in the new bureau. Roy Stewart has emphasized that radio and television issues will receive the same priority in the Media Bureau that they currently receive in the existing Mass Media Bureau.

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