IN THE MATTER OF: VARIOUS APPLICATIONS FOR TRANSFER OF CONTROL OF TELEMUNDO COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, INC. TO NBC BROADCASTING CO., INC.
There are positive aspects to the proposed acquisition of the Telemundo stations by NBC. I am particularly encouraged by NBC's pledge to continue the Spanish-language programming at the Telemundo stations. The transaction could therefore put the resources and experience of one of the nation's oldest broadcasting companies behind a station group programming for the Hispanic community. This acquisition should also ease the very serious financial pressures being experienced by Telemundo.
Notwithstanding the positive aspects of this transaction, I cannot support the transfer of stations in Los Angeles that would result in the first common ownership of three television stations by the same owner. Admittedly, this transaction seeks to limit the harm from such a concentration of voices in a single market. NBC has indicated that it will operate one of the stations on an independent basis. In addition, the majority requires regular reporting on efforts to divest this station within twelve months. Nevertheless, I cannot support this level of concentration by a single owner absent compelling public interest circumstances. In this instance, I do not find such a level of public interest benefit. Importantly, members of the community served by the Spanish-language programming argue that NBC has failed to demonstrate adequately its commitment of resources to the Telemundo stations to ensure that they continue to serve the needs of this community. I therefore dissent in part from the grant of this application.