FCC testimony on media ownership: Suzanne Blais

My name is Suzanne Blais. I am the owner of Black Dog Productions in Bellingham, Washington. We have about five employees. All of us have an average of 20 years experience in commercial television.

So, you have heard a lot of ‘back in the day stories’ today. Here is one more: Back when I started 20 years ago, I started out in market 187, a little town called Eureka, CA. For about 30,000 people, we had three commercial stations of license and a PBS stations and a PEG channel. Today, in Bellingham (halfway between Seattle and Vancouver -- a town of 60,000 people), we have two stations of license; one of them is a virtual repeater for a home shopping network and the other one is owned by Clear Channel.

Last year about this time, they got rid of their entire engineering department and moved it to Tulsa -- where they are now multi-cast. So our station in Bellingham is actually being aired in Tulsa. It’s amazing to me that in 20 years there has been such a degradation in what is available to the average consumer to be able to watch and to have access to.

I am here today to tell you that I have a family, I have a business, and I belong to a community, and in no way are my interests being served by what is being proposed by your three fellows. I would like to encourage you, please, to keep up your efforts on our behalf. Thank you.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey