“We’re programmers. The term ‘broadcasting’ doesn’t mean anything anymore.” – CBS President and CEO Les Moonves, Remarks at Code Conference May 27, 2015
Washington, D.C. May 28, 2015 – The following statement can be attributed to Trent Duffy, ATVA spokesman.
“A foundational principle of federal communications law is that in exchange for free use of the public airwaves broadcasters agree to take actions that benefit the public. These principles are enshrined in the Radio Act of 1927 and the Communications Act of 1934, which mandate that broadcasters serve the public interest, convenience and necessity. Apparently, that’s news to CBS President and CEO Les Moonves.
CBS wants to have it both ways: continue to benefit from government handouts while shirking its public interest obligations.
As retransmission fees continue to skyrocket, local news and public interest programming is dying. Local stations are cutting back newsroom budgets and laying off reporters. There is only a 7 percent chance that a ‘local’ television station is actually locally owned. According to the FCC, 32 percent of local TV stations ‘did not air a single minute of news programming.’
If CBS wants to be treated like every other channel, then by all means, they should surrender their spectrum back to the government and give up all their special government handouts like “must carry” and other regulatory advantages.”
The American Television Alliance (ATVA) brings together an unprecedented coalition of consumer groups, cable, satellite, telephone companies, and independent programmers to raise awareness about the risk viewers face as broadcasters increasingly threaten service disruptions that would deny viewers access to the programs they and their families enjoy.