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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
TTY: 1-888-835-5322

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

May 17, 2002

Contact: David Fiske
(202) 418-0513


Washington - More than 40 media industry CEO's, organization executives and public safety officials today discussed the events of 9/11 and how to coordinate both internal and public communications in future emergency situations at the initial meeting of a new federal Advisory Committee to the FCC, the Media and Security Reliability Council.

FCC Chairman Michael Powell said, "This Council will provide a valuable fact-finding service about dealing with communications issues in emergency situations that will benefit Federal, state and local government officials as well as all communications industries. In addition, the Council will be an important forum for the communications industries to network among themselves about emergency responses and to develop self-executing plans for emergency situation coordination."

Council Chairman Dennis J. FitzSimons, President/COO of Tribune Company, said, "Clearly the tragic events of 9/11 are the catalyst for this effort. On that horrible day, media and government responded nobly and heroically. We need to all work together through this Council to explore that catastrophe, try to learn from it, embrace what worked, and seek solutions to problems."

FitzSimons announced that the Council has formed two major working groups to develop detailed recommendations to help broadcasting, cable and satellite services deal with public emergency situations:

(1) The Communications Infrastructure Security Working Group, to be chaired by Bruce Allan, President, Harris Broadcast Communications. This group will:
* Address mitigation and service restoration issues that arise in connection with physical attacks as well as natural disasters;
* Study current practices in the areas of physical prevention and physical restoration in an effort to identify whether any enhancements or additions are needed;
* Focus on industry-specific measures, as well as issues which extend across different media platforms; and
* Evaluate the redundancy of media infrastructure within each industry and among different industry sectors.
(2) The Public Communications and Safety Working Group, to be chaired by John Eck, President, Broadcast Network Operations, NBC. This group will:

* Address a variety of issues relating to public communications and safety in response to physical attacks and natural disasters;
* Study the means by which the government and the media communicate emergency and public safety information, including but not limited to the Emergency Alert System; and
* Consider any special requirements needed to communicate such information to the hearing and visually impaired.
The Council, which as been chartered for two years as an official Federal Advisory Committee, will meet as a full body semi-annually, and will issue recommendations and "Best Practices" guides. The working groups will meet periodically at schedules to be determined by their respective chairmen.

Information about the Council will be available on a website it is creating: Related information is also available on the website of the FCC's internal Homeland Security Policy Council:

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