U.S. Senators Examine TV Mergers

By Andrew Gauthier 

Honolulu Advertiser

U.S. Sens. John Kerry and Chuck Grassley have raised concerns with the Federal Communications Commission about the impact of television station consolidation in Honolulu and other media markets.

Last month, the owners of KGMB9, KHNL and K5 merged their news operations, laid off about a third of the stations’ staff and began simulcasting some of their news programs.

In a Nov. 2 letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, Kerry, chairman of the Senate subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, and Grassley, R-Iowa, cited the merger as an example of consolidation that results in “fewer voices on the airwaves and reduced consumer choice.”

“As a result of consolidation, local newscasts are now presented on competing network affiliates by the exact same news staff and anchor team in markets across the country from Honolulu to Cedar Rapids to Baltimore,” they said. More…