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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th St., SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

Released: October 3, 2000


The Federal Communications Commission will hold an en banc hearing on Monday, October 16, 2000, examining the public interest obligations of television broadcasters. The hearing will commence at 9:00 a.m. at the Commission's headquarters, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.

The Commission hearing will consist of panels on broadcasters' obligations to protect children, including the effect of sexually explicit and violent programming on children, broadcasters' obligation to serve children in the digital television world with educational and informational programming, and broadcasters' service to local communities including coverage of public affairs. FCC Commissioners will moderate and participate in the hearing. The agenda for the en banc hearing, including witnesses scheduled to testify, will be announced by a separate public notice, and made available on the FCC's Internet site.

The en banc hearing will be included as part of the record that the Commission is developing as it considers the public interest obligations of broadcasters as they transition to digital television. Once the record has been fully developed, the Commission will examine the steps it may take to ensure that television licensees continue to serve the needs of their communities and to address the needs of children in the digital television era.

The hearing is open to the public, and seating will be available on a first come, first served basis. All interested persons are invited to attend. A transcript of the hearing will be available ten (10) days after the event on the FCC's Internet site. The URL address of the FCC's Internet Home Page is http://www.fcc.gov/. Transcripts may be obtained from the FCC's duplicating contractor, International Transcription Service (ITS) at (202) 857-3800, or fax (202) 857-3805, or TTY (202) 293-8810. ITS may be reached by electronic mail: its inc@ix.netcom. ITS's Internet address is http://www.itsdocs.com. Audio and video tapes of the hearing may be purchased from Infocus, 341 Victory Drive, Herndon, VA, 20170, by calling Infocus at (703) 834-0100 or faxing Infocus at Infocus is (703) 834-1470, extension 2278. Also, Internet users may listen to the real-time audio feed of the hearing via the FCC's Internet Audio Broadcast Home Page. Step-by-step instructions on how to listen to the audio broadcast, as well as information regarding the equipment and software needed, are available on the FCC's Current Audio/Video Events Home Page. The URL address for this home page is http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio/.

Mass Media Bureau contacts: Susanna Zwerling (202) 418-2600; Kim Matthews (202) 418-2120; Julie Barrie (202) 418-2120; Jamila Bess Johnson (202) 418-2600.