One day before the House Commerce Committee is set to mark up broadcast decency legislation, NCTA ushered out its response to FCC chmn Michael Powell’s request for a plan to shield children from inappropriate programming. Obviously cable is hoping to curry favor with the Hill and avoid regulation. Broadcasters are arguing that the indecency guidelines they’re asked to adhere to should be applied to cable. NCTA’s plan was completed almost 1 week before Powell’s 30-day deadline; it was delivered Tues to Powell and ranking House and Senate members, including Commerce chmn Joe Barton (R-TX) and Sen Commerce chmn John McCain (R-AZ). "The cable industry takes seriously your challenge and its responsibility to help protect children from indecent and unnecessarily violent TV programming," NCTA head Robert Sachs wrote. Dubbed "Cable Puts You in Control," it includes Web site, aimed at empowering parents with info about how to manage TV and media (how to block channels, descriptions of children’s and family programming, viewing tips, etc). Cable in the Classroom worked closely with NCTA on the plan and will create and maintain the site, which should be fully operational April 1. NCTA also plans to distribute PSAs by early April, with several cable operators and nets already agreeing to carry them. NCTA members will use bill stuffers, pamphlets and employee training materials to better educate consumers, while CIC and the National PTA will conduct free workshops about the concerns over the exposure of children to inappropriate TV content. On the Hill: In a speech to the NAB Tues, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) said: "Make no mistake: if decision makers at studios, networks, and affiliates fail to appreciate the sensitivity of the post-Super Bowl environment, the consequences will not be merely economic." (DeLay later told reporters cable voluntarily should allow subs do decide which channels they receive, according to reports.) — Late last week, McCain urged Amer Women in Radio & TV members to voluntarily police indecency. It would be preferable to having older, out-of-touch white men seeking re-election regulating media from Capitol Hill, he said.

The Daily


Short Takes

Commentary by Steve Effros There was a fleeting moment when I thought that maybe I could cut down on the number of columns I write each month as we approach the new year. What the heck, so many of the issues I

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