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Panel Discussion on FCC & Communications Mergers

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Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy to Present “Declaration of Independents: Not All Mergers Are Created Equal,” Jan. 28

WHAT: The Center for Business and Public Policy at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business will host the panel discussion “Declaration of Independents: Not All Mergers Are Created Equal” on Jan. 28 at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies.

The pending mergers of Comcast/TWC and T/DIRECTV raise the issue of how such transactions impact the availability of independent programming not affiliated with any pay-TV distributor or broadcaster. Maintaining a diversity of viewpoints has always been a goal of telecommunications policymakers. FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, among others, have staked out the issue as important to their consideration of media mergers. 

This panel will explore the impact of various mergers, both past and present, on independent programmers in the video space. Some programmers outwardly oppose mergers, while others remain silent or even voice support for some large mergers, raising the question of whether all media mergers are created equal in the eyes of independent programmers. And, as more video moves to “over the top” online distribution, how will today's mergers impact the availability of independent voices in the future? What effect do independent programming sources have on ethnic and other niche audiences?  What about political viewpoints, news, and editorial content?

The panel includes:

  • Jonathan Adelstein, former FCC commissioner and president and CEO, PCIA;
  • Jon Leibowitz, former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and partner, Davis Polk;
  • Robert McDowell, former FCC commissioner and partner, Wiley Rein LLP’s communications practice;
  • Roy Myeringh, senior director of business development and strategy, beIN SPORTS;
  • Andrew Schwartzman, Benton Senior Counselor, Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown University Law Center; and
  • Michael Schwimmer, CEO, NuvoTV.

Bradley Blakeman, adjunct lecturer at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies Washington Program, and David Goodfriend, adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center and senior industry and innovation fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy, will serve as moderators.

Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015
10 to 11:30 a.m.

Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies
640 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC

Those interested in attending the event should register online at

Media who are interested in covering the event should contact Brynn Boyer, assistant director of communications, at (202) 687-5254 or

About the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy
The Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy is an academic, non-partisan research center whose mission is to engage scholars, business people and policymakers in relevant inquiries and dialogue to impact key business, economic and public policy issues confronting American and international businesses today.  Housed at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business, the Georgetown Center was created in 2002 to encourage thoughtful discussion and to document and disseminate knowledge on a range of issues in the public interest. Learn more at