The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Media Policy Watch
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Congratulations Lupe Ontiveros – Emmy Nominee
For the 57th Annual Emmy Awards our very own Lupe Ontiveros made us proud to receive her first Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series: Desperate Housewives. The competition was tough and included Georgia Engel, Everybody Loves Raymond; Cloris Leachman, Malcolm in the Middle; Blythe Danner, Will & Grace, and the winner Kathryn Joosten, also of Desperate Housewives. Desperate Housewivesearned 15 Emmy nominations in this its first year and tied veteran Will & Grace with the biggest total for any series. We were disappointed however that Eva Longoria was not included as an Emmy Nominee for her excellent performance in the series, and expect that she will be nominated next year.
But back to Lupe, the outrageous actress hearing of her nomination told Belle Hernandez from Latin Heat “I would like to dedicate this nomination to all the mothers-in-law from hell.” Ontiveros was nominated for her role as “Mama Solis”, Gabrielle Solis’ mother-in-Law.
Friends and family of the beloved actress got together on September 11th in Beverly Hills to celebrate Lupe’s outstanding career and her first Emmy Nomination. More then a Hollywood party, the event sponsored by NHMC, Hennessy Privilege VSOP, and AltaMed was a historic moment where many came to pay tribute to the great icon that Lupe has turned out to be. NHMC believes that it is very important for our Latino talent to know their community is supporting them and promoting them so that the Actors receive the recognition and accolades they so much deserve. Que Viva la Lupe! And let’s cheer her on to the Oscars.
3rd Annual Local Impact Awards
NHMC honored outstanding Los Angeles media luminaries at its 3rd Annual Local Impact Awards Luncheon on September 8th at the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. Masters of Ceremonies for the second year in a row were the lovely and talented CBS 2 anchor Laura Diaz and Big Boy, the charismatic, number one top morning drive D.J. from powerhouse KPWR FM.
Honorees included the exceptional journalists Teresa Quevedo of Univision 34, Linda Alvarez of CBS 2 News and Ruben Luengas from Telemundo 52 who received Impact Awards for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, “Their work is exemplary” said NHMC Chairman of the Board Frank Zuñiga, “these individuals report the news with the outmost professionalism, integrity and credibility. They are models for their profession.”
The talented entertainment radio reporter Liz Hernandez of KPWR-FM received the Excellence in Radio Broadcasting for her work on the popular Big Boy’s Neighborhood Show and Kurt Streeter, the Los Angeles Time’s general assignment reporter received the Excellence in Print Journalism award for his heartwarming five part series titled “The Girl.” Kurt covered a young Latina boxer from East Los Angeles who wants to become the boxing champion of the world in a gripping three-dimensional way that brought tears, laughter and accolades from a riveted, appreciative readership.
Also, from the Los Angeles Times the brilliant columnist Steve Lopez was recognized for his insightful and entertaining coverage of the bad and the ugly, the rich and the poor – the humanity of Southern California. Legendary “Oldies but Goodies” radio D.J. Art Laboe was on hand to present the Award to Liz Hernandez. Also LATV received the Excellence in Bilingual Broadcasting. LATV is a bilingual broadcast channel based in Los Angeles. It airs live from their studio providing audiences cutting edge Latino music and entertainment as well as original bilingual programming.
“There is still a great deal of work to be done to achieve parity for Latinos in the media. Our demographics are not reflected in the industry and the digital divide continues to expand, however we must not ignore our successes. The Local Impact Awards is a time to recognize local talent who represent the Latino community with veracity, understanding and compassion,” said Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the NHMC.
Sara Ramirez Wins Tony Award
We learned about Spamalot and the fabulous Sara Ramirez from “Latino Leaders” magazine June, 2005 issue. The Broadway Musical won the Tony Award for Best Musical this year and Sara Ramirez the 29-year old actress won for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical.
Partly based on Arthurian legend and—as the show’s creators note—“lovingly ripped off” from the absurd British film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this flashy farce is raking in box office bucks in a frenzy not seen since the early days of The Producers. (Spamalot brought in $2 million in ticket sales on a single day, and audiences have to reserve seats more than six months in advance.)
Sharing the boards as the only female lead Ramirez not only holds her own; some might argue that she leads the pack. As The Lady of the Lake—often portrayed in art history as an ethereal, blonde waif—Ramirez breaks the mold with her natural curves and big, brown eyes. “Being Latina has worked in my favor more often than not. I’ve never had to change my name. More and more, on Broadway, people are thinking outside of the box. Unless you’re Denzel Washington in Julius Caesar, though, it can still be very difficult.” The singular performer was born and raised in Mazatlán, Mexico until age eight, when she and her mother moved to San Diego. She was brought up bilingually and attended the San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts for high school. She was accepted into the prestigious Juilliard School’s drama program and moved to New York City in 1993.
As for the dawning light of stardom, Sara Ramirez is handling it like a seasoned pro. “Being a household name—does that equal success? I don’t think so. I think success is working. A lot of people talk about working hard and being rejected for shows, but you have to pay your dues and work on your craft and prove to yourself—and maybe to others as well—that you can do this.”
Kudos to Alex Nogales
Congratulations to Alex Nogales, NHMC President & CEO for receiving the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF) Aztec Award on October 7th. MAOF has established a tradition of honoring outstanding Mexican Americans who have dedicated their careers to community service. This prestigious Aztec Award is presented to persons who have made a positive impact on business, local, state and national affairs and have made significant inroads in advancing the cause of the Hispanic and Mexican American community. In July, Alex was inducted to the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) Hall of Fame. And in December, Alex will receive the Minorities in Business Prism Award. “If I had received these awards when I was a younger man they would have been particularly great for my ego,” said Alex. “At this stage of my life, although I am very appreciative for the recognition, the Awards’ primary use is to further the goals of NHMC. And it has to be clear, I’m receiving the award, but others paved the way – among them Ernesto Galarza, Burt Corona, Ray Andrade and my friend and mentor former Congressman Esteban Torres, Chair of the National Latino Media Council.”
Farewell to a Good Friend
Claudia Flores our Director of Operations for over three years, recently accepted a new position at Media Card LLC. This is a great opportunity for Claudia and although we will miss her we congratulate her on her new position and thank her for all the great work she did for the Coalition.
Latinos in Television Fall Season
“We’re finally beginning to see the fruits of our labor,” said Alex Nogales, NHMC President & CEO. “In the fall season of 1999 there was not one single person of color cast as a regular at ABC, NBC, CBS or Fox. Now there are over 15 in just ABC alone.” Below you will find a list of the shows that have Latinos in prominent regular roles – those in which the actor appears in every episode. We need to support these programs so that they are successful, so that our actors are successful and our children finally have diverse, positive role models to emulate.”
The new fall season looks very promising for Latinos especially at ABC on Wednesdays. George Lopez 8/7 P.M. will hit its 100th show this season and the next season it will be in syndication. This is the first time a Latino theme program achieves this milestone in television. It is also a great comedy with many great Latino actors: EmilianoDiez, Luis Garcia, George Lopez, Constance Marie, Belita Moreno and Valente Rodriguez. Following George Lopez is the new sitcom Freddie 8:30/7:30 P.M. Freddie Prinze, Jr. stars in this new comedy, which he has co-created, will write for, and for which he will also assume a role as the youngest executive producer in ABC’s history. Freddie is inspired by Freddie Prinze Jr.’s real life, growing up in a house filled with women (his mother and Puerto Rican grandmother). In the show the grandmother speaks only Spanish and the sitcom will include subtitles to translate her words. The Latino cast includes Jacqueline Obradors as Sofia, and Jenny Gago as Grandma.
Lost 9/8 P.M, the 6-Emmy Award winner including the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series follows these two Latino theme programs. With a 50 percent minority cast it is one of the most diverse series on television that includes Jorge Garcia who plays Hugo “Hurley” Reyes. “When I look around a plane, I always see lots of different ethnicities,” states Damon Lindelof, cocreator and an executive producer of Lost. A Latina, Michelle Rodriguez, will be added to the cast this season. She will portray a previously unknown survivor of the crash. In some episodes, she’ll converse in Spanish with the Mexican-American character “Hurley”.
To make it a full night of prime time Latinos, Eddie Cibrian gets first billing on Invasion 10/9 P.M., the new sci-fi drama about a town recovering from a devastating hurricane and its mysterious aftermath. You might not have realized it but Cibrian is Latino. Born in Burbank, he is the only child of Carlos and Hortensia Cibrian, both of Cuban descent.
Alias on ABC moves to Thursdays 8/7 P.M. Mia Maestro, the Argentine actress, that plays the mysterious Nadia Santos, a fighting machine and long-lost half sister of CIA agent Sydney Bristow (Jennifer Garner) will not be a regular this season but will continue to play Nadia on Alias. “…I’m shooting Poseidon Adventure until November so I’m not going to be a regular this year. I’m going to be coming back for only a bunch of episodes. We don’t know how many yet…”
Sofia Vergara, the popular Colombian American Univision hostess, will debut in the new sitcom Hot Propertiesshowing on Fridays 9:30/8:30 P.M.The sexy comedy tells the tale about four female real estate agents living in Manhattan. It might be too sexy for some, and just right for others.
Sundays on ABC the hit show Desperate Housewives 9/8 P.M. continues its great run with the beautiful Eva Longoria and the charming Ricardo Antonio Chavira playing one of the lead couples in this series. Let’s hope that this season, Eva receives the accolades she deserves with an Emmy nomination.
According to an Los Angeles Times article, ABC will go a step further, becoming the first English-language broadcast network to provide all prime-time entertainment programming in Spanish. In addition to George Lopez, Freddie and the hit shows Desperate Housewives and Lost will be available dubbed in Spanish. The rest of the lineup will have subtitles.
On Mondays 9/8 P.M. Daytime Emmy Award winner Vanessa Marcil stars in Las Vegas, as the wheeling and dealing Samantha “Sam” Jane. Also on Mondays at 10/9 P.M. Miguel Sandoval stars in the hit show Medium a chilling drama series inspired by the real-life story of research medium Allison Dubois. Behind the camera on this series is René Echevarria as co-executive producer of the series.
Also behind the scenes, the great grandson of Mexican comedy legend “Cantinflas”, is producing NBC’s oddball comedy about a low-rent crook who wins the lottery, My Name is Earl showing on Tuesdays at 9/8 P.M.
Benjamin Pratt and Dennis Hopper are the leads in this new NBC Pentagon Drama E-Ring showing on Wednesdays 9/8 P.M.
NBC’s hit comedy Will & Grace continues to run on Thursdays 8:30/7:30. Shelley Morrison plays Karen Walker’s (Megan Mullally) feisty El Salvadoran housekeeper.
This season NBC plans to air a live episode of The West Wing featuring a debate between presidential candidates Matt Santos and Arnold Vinick on Nov. 6. The West Wing, which has lagged in the ratings with its move to Sunday nights 8/7 P.M., is in the midst of the campaign to replace Martin Sheen ‘s character, President Bartlet. Jimmy Smits plays Democratic candidate Santos and Alan Alda the Republican Vinick. Also on Sundays, the hit drama Crossing Jordan continues showing at 10/9 P.M. In its fifth season, veteran actor Miguel Ferrer continues to play forensic examiner Dr. Garret Macy.
In its fourth season, CSI:Miami keeps its Monday 10/9 P.M slot where the handsome Adam Rodriguez plays Erik Delko a Cuban American underwater crime recovery specialist who occasionally finds himself staring down alligators in the line of duty. Eva La Rue, best known for her role as Dr. Maria Santos on ABC’s All My Children, is also now part of the cast. La Rue will portray Natalia Boa Vista who focuses on unsolved cases.
Cote de Pablo has joined the cast of military drama NCIS as Ziva David on a full-time basis. De Pablo appeared in this season’s premiere episode in a guest role and will now regularly appear during the rest of the season on Tuesdays at 8/7 P.M.
Without a Trace continues its slot on Thursdays at 10/9 P.M. with Enrique Marciano playing Danny Taylor, whose sensitivity is often covered up by his street smarts. As the agents work on varied and complicated cases, details about their own lives continue to unfold.
Cold Case also is kept in its current time slot, Sundays 8/7 P.M. Cold Case is a drama about Lilly Rush (Kathryn Morris), the lone female detective in the Philadelphia homicide squad who finds her niche when she’s assigned to “cold cases”–crimes that have never been solved. Her strong-willed partner is Scotty Valens played by Danny Pino.
Prison Break showing on Mondays at 9/8 P.M. combines the hope of “The Shawshank Redemption,” the camaraderie of “The Longest Yard” and the tense procedure and spectacle of “The Great Escape.” This intriguing new series will reveal additional pieces of the puzzle each week as Michael Scofield (Wentworth Miller) carries out his daring plan to mastermind the ultimate prison break – and solve the far-reaching national-scale conspiracy that landed his brother there in the first place. Amaury Nolasco plays “Sucre”, Michael’s cellmate.
UPN’s upcoming prime-time soap, “South Beach”, will be shot in Miami and is being produced by Jennifer Lopez’s production company. To reflect the diversity that Miami represents some scenes are being shot entirely in Spanish.
As you will recall, earlier this year NHMC moved its offices to the Los Angeles Center Studios. Our Open House was held on July 12. Stragglers came and went all evening long including Emmy nominee Lupe Ontiveros, legendary D.J. Art Laboe, Director/Producer/Writer Dennis Leoni, President of ABC Alex Wallau, former Congressman Esteban Torres, Nosotros’ President Jerry Velasco and our neighbor and landlord Producer Moctesuma Esparza. We would like to give special thanks to Alicia Enciso for allowing us to decorate our offices with part of her photography collection of Latino Greats in film. Her exhibit consists of great Latino Actors who worked in Hollywood from the 1930s to the present. They include the star of the original Ben Hur Ramon Navarro, Dolores del Rio, Ricardo Montalbán and Anthony Quinn to our contemporaries James Olmos, Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek. It was a good time to network, see old friends and meet new ones.
Congressman Baca’s Corporate America Task Force
Alex Nogales, NHMC’s President & CEO, attended the Congressman’s third task force meeting this September. The task force has three primary goals: to increase diversity in employment to include senior management, corporate boardroom representation, procurement of goods and services from Hispanic-owned businesses, and to increase corporate America’s philanthropic support of our community via our Hispanic non-profit organizations. The task force has worked closely with the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) on diversity issues. In 2004, HACR launched the HACR Corporate Index. The Index ranks Fortune 100 companies as to the inclusion of the Hispanic community throughout their business models. With an emphasis on board room and senior executive demographics, participants are also measured on representation in the workforce, supplier development and outreach, and Hispanic community reciprocity. The following is the top ranked companies in HACR’s Corporate Index 2004.
4. Home Depot
5. General Motors
14. Fannie Mae
22.Bank of America
25. Bell South
27. Duke Energy
Companies that failed to respond to HACR’s Corporate Index include: Abbott, Albertson’s, Alcoa, Allstate, Amer Int’l Grp, AmerisourceBergen, Amex, Archer Daniels Midland, AT&T, AutoNation, Berkshire, Hathaway, Boeing, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Caterpillar, Bank One Corp, Cardinal Health, ChevronTexaco, Comcast, ConocoPhillips, Costco Wholesale, CVS, Dell, Dow Chemical, EDS, Exxon Mobil, FedEx, Georgia-Pacific, Goldman Sachs Group, HCA, Hewlett-Packard, Honeywell, Ingram Micro, International Paper, JC Penny, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Kmart Holding, Kroger, Lockheed Martin, Lowe’s, Marathon Oil, Mass. Mutual Life Ins, McKesson, Medco Health Solutions, Merck, Merrill Lynch, MetLife, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Motorola, New York Life Ins., Northrop Grumman, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Safeway, Sears Roebuck, Sprint, State Farm Ins., Supervalu, Sysco, Target, TIAA-CREF, Time Warner, United Technologies, UnitedHealth Group, Valero Energy, Viacom, Wachovia Corp., Walgreen, WellPoint Health Networks, Wells Fargo, Weyerhaeuser, Williams. “This is too large a list of unresponsive companies. Their lack of responsiveness is unacceptable in view of the millions of dollars our community spends on their goods and services,” said Alex Nogales. “If there is no commitment to our community from these unresponsive companies there is no reason for our community to continue buying their products. Let’s give a Latino Consumer Seal of Approval to the top-ranked companies in HACR’s Corporate Index and put on notice the non-participant companies”.
The Congressman held a press conference immediately after his task force meeting to declare the importance of Corporate America showing their commitment to the Latino consumers by hiring them, investing in their community, and including them in their Boards. Also participating in the press conference were Congressmen Silvestre Reyes, Robert Menendez, Xavier Becerra and Bob Filner.
The Nielsen Saga Continues
As you know, an important issue that we have been working on is the undercounting of Latinos in the Nielsen Ratings. Senator Burns (R-Montana) has introduced S. 1372, the FAIR Ratings Acts of 2005, to regulate Nielsen’s activities since the company continues to operate its Local People Meters (LPMs) without the accreditation of the Media Ratings Council (MRC). MRC was named by Congress years ago as the independent body to monitor TV Ratings. The problem was that the accreditation was voluntary and not required, and Nielsen as the monopoly that they are did not see a need to work towards the MRC accreditation. There is also a House companion bill H.R. 3298, the Television Viewer Consumer Protection Act of 2005. These two bills require that any company providing TV Ratings be accredited by MRC before the firm can roll out a TV Ratings system. The TV Ratings bill adds teeth to the MRC and makes Nielsen finally accountable. NHMC is working to promote these bills in Congress and educate the public of the necessity for this legislation. We are soliciting our allies to write letters of support for these bills. This is the first time that NHMC engages so closely in the promotion of legislation. If the bills pass it will be historic and NHMC’s participation will have been crucial to its passage. We are already seeing positive results from this proposed legislation. Nielsen has agreed to a voluntary code of conduct, something they have been rejecting for years and which at this late date is too little too late.
This bill has been seen as a fight between two media giants, Nielsen Media Research and Fox Inc., but it is about a lot more. Latinos and other people of color have been undercounted for decades and it is now time that we have legislation that will ensure that the undercounting stop. The reason this is so important is that the networks do not see a need for the employment of Latinos or Latino-theme programming if the ratings do not show there is a large Latino audience watching.
We ask our readers to join this important fight and to contact your Senator and Congress Representative in support of S. 1372 and H.R. 3298. Our children need role models and the opportunity to work in media if they so desire. For more information on joining this cause please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Petition to Deny – Comcast Update
Our allies from the Media & Democracy Coalition, Media Access Project filed NHMC’s Petition to Deny the Transfer of Adelphia to Comcast/Time Warner. We have an excellent relationship with Time Warner and a very poor and contentious one with Comcast. Comcast has steadily refused to hire Latinos in any sizeable managerial and professional level and to bring LA-TV and Sítv into their cable systems in any significant way.
Sítv and LA-TV are either Latino-owned and/or Latino operated. We cannot allow either one of these Latino English-language Networks to fail because it will take too many years before another like entity takes their place. Both of these networks do an enormous amount of Latino themed programming and employ hundreds and hundreds of Latinos both in front and back of camera, many of them in top managerial, decision-making positions. At the same time both these networks allow for expression of our Latino community, of our culture, our history, our point of view, dreams and aspirations.
Comcast is now going across the nation trying to persuade our Latino organizations to support the acquisition of Adelphia while dangling organizational support money. We encourage everyone to take whatever money is being offered but refrain from supporting the acquisition publicly. Comcast must agree and immediately take concrete steps to remedy its Latino employment, procurement, governance, and programming inclusion record. We insist on it and will continue to put pressure on Comcast until such an agreement is reached. We are now working to get more Latino organizations to sign-on to the Petition to Deny. If you represent an organization interested in supporting our petition to deny, please contact us at email@example.com
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Media Policy Watch
Below is a list of important legislation that we are monitoring. Please become engaged with these issues, they are too important for us to allow others to decide for us what is important for our community. Usually these bills are supported or opposed by media conglomerates, the only way we can achieve our purpose is with your support. Elected officials do pay attention to their constituents, they have to or they know they will be out of a job next time they are up for re-election. Stand up and join the fight for our community, contact your Representatives and let them know where you stand on these issues.
The Issue:Community Internet
We believe that each community should be able to provide affordable and high-speed Community Internet to its citizenry. This is one way that we can reduce the hollow in the digital divide, which particularly affects our community. Thanks to increasingly affordable technologies Community Internet is becoming a reality throughout the U.S. According to TechnologyReview.com, Philadelphia is the first major urban area to initiate a city government-led wireless program. The service is expected to be available later this year. San Francisco and New Haven, CT are two of the latest major U.S. urban areas to take another step toward providing Wi-Fi (“wireless fidelity”) connections. In fact, approximately 300 U.S. cities and municipalities are now in various stages of wireless rollouts – up from barely any just a year and a half ago. However, phone and cable companies want to make it illegal for communities to be able to launch such initiatives.
U.S. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), a former telephone company executive whose wife still works for the same company, has introduced H.R. 2726 titled “Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005.” A very misleading title to a bill that would let cable and telecom companies shut down municipal and community efforts to offer broadband services. This bill would take away the right of cities and towns across the country to provide citizens with universal, low-cost Internet access if a private company offers service nearby. If a private service provider were overcharging residents, the bill would prevent local governments from offering a low-cost alternative. Giant cable and telephone companies don’t want any competition, which might actually force them to offer lower prices, higher speeds and service to rural and urban areas. Let’s not let this bill move forward. This is a bad bill that is not good for communities that are working to close the digital divide. Contact your Congressional Representative and ask him/her to oppose this bill.
On the other side of the spectrum is a bi-partisan effort lead by Sen. McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Lautenberg (D-NJ). The Community Broadband Act of 2005, S. 1294, would specifically permit municipalities to offer low-cost broadband service. If this bill passes, it would overturn all state legislation prohibiting municipal broadband systems. Support Community Internet. Contact your senators to co-sponsor the McCain-Lautenberg bill, it is in our community’s interest.
For more information on these bills please go to the Free Press’ link at www.freepress.net/communityinternet/=USSuggested Action Plan:Contact your Congressional Representative and ask him/her to OPPOSE H.R. 2726, call your Senator and ask him/her to SUPPORT S. 1294. Also let others know about this important issue. Our communities need Community Internet because telephone and cable prices are too high and the media moguls need competition from local communities to bring their prices down. High-speed Internet should not only be accessible to high-income residents. As all people have the right to water and electricity so do they have the right to fast-connectivity. Without it people are at a disadvantaged by not being able to access the same information and resources as quickly as those at a higher income bracket. Community Internet addresses the very serious issue of the digital divide between the haves and have-nots.
The Issue:Lessons of Katrina… the need for Low Power FM (LPFM)
As New Orleans was being evacuated, thousands of evacuees were streaming out into the countryside where churches and communities had set up shelters to take care of them. Unfortunately, many of these shelters lacked telecommunications service. Responding to this need a low power FM station, Katrina Aftermath Media Project – KAMP 95.3 FM was set up at the parking lot of the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. This 6-watt radio station served the people and families living at the Astrodome and adjacent buildings. Tom Hanlon, a volunteer with a property owners’ association in Baton Rouge that has been waiting 5 years for their Low Power FM radio license to come through said this about the exodus from New Orleans to Baton Rouge: “A lack of accurate information, coupled with the time spent tracking down false rumors, did more to delay the mobilization of Baton Rouge than any hurricane. We need more LPFM stations in our cities to help with these crises in the future.”
This hopefully illustrates to you our readers, the importance of LPFM especially in an emergency situation. LPFM affords one of the most promising opportunities to increase the diversity of local voices. LPFM radio has already allowed local community groups to provide independent news, public affairs, and entertainment to over 600 communities across the country. Churches and ministries, schools and community organizations, use these 100-watt stations for everything from spreading the Gospel to covering PTA meetings. Many communities, however, have been kept off the air by a law restricting LPFM stations to very rural areas. The law was passed after big broadcasters claimed that these 100-watt stations would interfere with their full-power radio stations in larger towns and cities. But now, a Congressionally mandated $2.2 million study conducted by the MITRE Corporation has definitely proved that there is room for LPFM on the spectrum without causing airwaves interference.
It will now take congressional action to expand licensing opportunities for Low Power FM stations. Prometheus Radio Project is a non-profit organization leading the LPFM fight and NHMC has joined this fight. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has introduce a Senate bill, S. 312, to implement the recommendations of the FCC report regarding low-power FM service and a House bill will soon be introduced by Rep. Louise Slaughter, (D-N.Y.). Rep. Slaughter’s bill would repeal the law that kept low-power stations off the air in larger communities, thereby allowing local groups to build thousands more LPFM stations across the country. The bill also describes reasonable guidelines the government can undertake to make sure that the people’s airwaves are reserved as much as possible for local community radio now, and as we transition to a primarily digital future.
To learn more about Low Power FM radio, visit http://www.prometheusradio.org.
Suggested Action Plan: Contact your Senator and ask them to co-sponsor S. 312 and support Low Power FM radio. As soon as the House bill is introduced we will ask you to do the same with your Congressional Representative.
The Issue: Digital TV (DTV) Transition
Currently, Congress is considering legislation to require a firm deadline for the transition to digital-only television broadcasting which will eliminate analog signals that most televisions sets are designed to receive. Unless those sets are connected to cable or satellite services, they will stop receiving broadcasts after the final transition. Congress is also debating whether and how much to compensate consumers who must buy converter boxes to prevent their televisions from going dark.
Digital television is a new technology that uses the airwaves more efficiently, improves picture quality, and provides advanced sound quality. The government is set to require a firm date, possibly early 2009, when all broadcast signals will have to be sent digitally. The major factor for the rapid move on this legislation is that DTV will make the use of spectrum more efficient and will allow Congress to auction some of the freed up spectrum to wireless companies for high-speed Internet services. Such an auction could generate $10 billion to the federal coffers, money needed to reduce the country’s current deficit especially after the aftermath of Katrina and Rita. But policymakers should pause for a moment before rushing ahead to allow dominant media companies to use those airwaves to amass more control and charge consumers higher prices. Congress should set aside a portion of the airwaves for the public to use in community wireless Internet projects that offer consumers more options and lower prices. Doing so would help communities provide their citizens with high-speed Internet to improve educational opportunities, stimulate local economic growth, help small businesses succeed, and create new competition that will help keep consumer costs down (read more in this issue under Community Internet). Furthermore, NHMC believes part of the generated funds should be directed as subsidies to help consumers with the cost of keeping their TVs working. We will fight for not only spectrum set asides for unlicensed uses but also demand from broadcasters more time for quality public programming.
Suggested Action Plan: If you are purchasing a television be sure your TV has a digital tuner. Although analog TVs will still function, they will be limited after the DTV transition. Also, members of the Senate Commerce Committee will be considering bills for the DTV transition and possible amendments and need to hear that people want unlicensed access to build America’s broadband future. You can get a list of the members of the Senate Commerce Committee with the following link here. Whether you are from a state on the list or not, please call and tell the Senators you want to see spectrum made available for unlicensed use as part of the DTV transition. In addition, contact your Senator and member of Congress now and tell them the budget bill should set aside high quality airwaves for community wireless Internet projects, or go to the following Consumers Union’s link https://secure2.convio.net/cu/site/Advocacy?JServSessionIdr012=4imujjzeq1.app5a&cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=543 and take action there.
The Issue: Telecommunications Rewrite
We have been expecting that Congress would revise the Telecommunications Rewrite of 1996 this year or early the next. And indeed the activity has begun. The Telecom Rewrite is the biggest media issue currently being considered that will have great impact on consumers for many years to come. Just as the Telecom Rewrite of 1996 impacted our lives as it relates to information and communication, the new Rewrite will impact important media issues such as how and whether millions of Americans will be able to access information and video services for reasonable prices over high-speed Internet connections. This is why it is important that we be informed on this issue and that we voice our concerns. The public must be at the negotiating table when this legislation is being considered. The media conglomerates have been included in the negotiations and now we the public must also be included.
We urge Congress to ensure that public, not industry, needs are made paramount in any legislation adopted. Telecommunications legislation for too long has been negotiated behind closed doors with key industry heavyweights and major media conglomerates who spend hundreds of millions of dollars on campaign contributions and lobbying in Washington. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 largely reflected their priorities and did not respond to the needs of the public. After the 1996 act was passed cable rates surged by 50 percent, local phone rates went up by 20 percent, and scores of media companies merged, denying consumers choice and competition, and depriving our democracy of diverse viewpoints. These mistakes cannot be repeated.
We challenge Congress to make telecommunications policy based on a number of core values:
Equality of opportunity in the information age so that no one is denied access to the best information technology because of race, location, income level, or ethnicity;
Respect for local power over franchising agreements with telephone and cable companies;
The independence of local governments to use wireless technology to serve their residents, particularly those with low incomes or in rural areas;
Guarantees that no company that owns a media distribution “pipeline” has the power to dictate the content that is transmitted over that pipeline;
Locally owned, independent media outlets that provide a diversity of viewpoints;
Preservation of valuable airwaves that are a public resource for public use.
First legislation related to the Telecom Rewrite:Deregulation of Both Phone and Cable Markets.
In the Senate, Nevada Republican John Ensign offered the first substantial legislation on this issue. “The Broadband Investment and Consumer Choice Act”, S. 1504, a bill which would substantially deregulate both the Bells and the cable industry. As soon as this bill was introduced many of the top media reform advocates came out against it. The National League of Cities issued this statement: “This bill takes away most controls and protections that local governments need to monitor and ensure that the communications industry is responsible and responsive to our citizens”. Consumers Union states “Consumers better hold on to their wallets if this bill becomes law. They can look forward to soaring cable and phone bills and even fewer choices for broadband as dominant cable and phone companies tighten their stranglehold on the limited competition in these markets. Despite platitudes toward consumer choice and protection, this bill does the exact opposite.” Needless to say, NHMC opposes this bill and strongly urges you to state your opinion to your Senator. This bill is not good for us, the consumer.
Second proposed legislation on the Telecom Rewrite: The House Energy and Commerce Committee Draft Legislation
The House Energy and Commerce Committee released draft legislation revising the 1996 Telecommunications Act. We were please to see so much of what we consider positive language. This is a bi-partisan effort led by the key Congressional members that have already outreached to media advocates to include them in the negotiating table. This legislation is only a draft and we will keep you informed as the bill is finalized and introduced in the House.
Suggested Action Plan: Once the bill is introduced we will need you to actively participate and voice your issues and concerns. Meanwhile, NHMC together with our national media allies will do our part to work with Congressional staff in finalizing a bill that serves the public at large and our community in specific.
Calendar of Events
Latinologues Hits Broadway September 13- December 4, Helen Hayes Theatre New York Latinologues, the award-winning comedy about life in America, is now previewing on Broadway at the Helen Hayes Theatre. The official opening night is Sunday, October 23. This limited Broadway engagement highlights the talent of Eugenio Derbez, Rick Najera, Rene Lavan, and Shirley A. Rumierk. This show has been a favorite across the nation for years. Latinologues has been featured around the country in cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, Portland, San Antonio, Houston, Las Vegas, Houston, Miami, and on Showtime’s Latino Laugh Festival and HBO’s Aspen Comedy Festival. More than 70 actors have performed in the show.To buy your tickets visit www.latinologues.net/schedule.phpLALIFF 9th Annual Festival Edition October 21-30, Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard
The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) will kick off on Friday, Oct. 21 with the premiere presentation of an award-winning film, followed by the opening night gala where attendees can feast and dance to the rhythm of a live band. The festival will, also, host the “Gabi” Lifetime Achievement Award Gala with a screening of one of the Gabi recipient’s films. Each year, the festival recognizes an artist for their track record and significant contributions to world cinema with the Gabriel Figueroa lifetime achievement award. The Gabi Award is the heart and soul of the festival which past recipients include Raúl Julia, Carlos Saura, María Félix, Anthony Quinn, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Federico Luppi, Rita Moreno and of course, Gabriel Figueroa. For more information on LALIFF visit www.latinofilm.orgSelling Consumer Products to Hispanics in the U.S November 3-4, Institute of the Americas La Jolla CA With a 100% growth in population in the last decade, Hispanics in the U.S. are not only growing in numbers, but so is their purchasing power which now exceeds $686 billion – and estimated to reach $1 trillion by 2010. This Executive roundtable will provide a practical forum where manufactures, retailers, service providers, marketers and advertisers will explore key issues and proven ways to successfully reach this segment of the population. For more information, please visit www.iamericas.org or contact Isabel Escalle, Program Director at (858) 453-5560 x 122 • (858) 453-2165 • firstname.lastname@example.org.
15th Annual Hispanic Business Entrepeneur of the Year Awards (EOY) November 9-10, The Beverly Hilton Los Angeles
The ceremony recognizes the most successful Hispanic entrepreneurs who have achieved their dreams through hard work and drive. Awards are given in the following categories: Entrepeneur of the Years, Trade Industry, Infobusiness, Rising Star and Latina Entrepeneur.
FUSION, Outfest Los Angeles LGBT People of Color Film Festival November 11-13, Egyptian Theater, Barnsdall Art Park and Aratani/Japan American Theater Opening Night Gala and Reception: November 11 (Shorts Program) 8 p.m. Outfest’s Fusion is the only LGBT people of color film festival. A Collaboration between Outfest and dozens of local community-based organizations that serve LGBT people of color, Fusion is a multi-ethnic, gender inclusive forum for films, panel discussions, spoken word performance and community networking.
23rd Anniversary Siempre Boricua Un Nuevo Comienzo December 2, New York
Reception and Dance at the SEIU Local 32 BJ Building 101 Avenue of the Americas (1 Block North of Canal Street). Tickets $125 VIP (Reception & Dance) $75 (Dance Only). Featuring the music of Larry Harlow & His Latin Legends Band. For more information email@example.com
How to contact us
National Hispanic Media Coalition
Los Angeles Center Studios,
1201 West 5th Street T-205,
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Tel: (213) 534-3026
Fax: (213) 534-3027
Alex Nogales Acasia Flores Inez Gonzalez
President/CEO Executive Assistant to the President Director of Media Policy
This e-newsletter is published by NHMC for those interested in media advocacy on behalf of the Latino community. Correspondence, including requests to subscribe or unsubscribe, should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org]]>
National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.