Tag Archives: Seattle

Consolidation eats another local touchstone ~2013~ TV &Progressive Radio in Seattle – etc.


April 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

The acquisition of Fisher Broadcasting by Sinclair Broadcast Group is bad news for Seattle and the Northwest. Seattle will lose a small but important corporate headquarters. Sinclair, which is based in suburban Baltimore, will no doubt get rid of many Fisher corporate jobs that are made “redundant” by the merger. The Northwest will lose a distinct local voice.

Sinclair says it “owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 112 television stations in 61 markets” in some 26 states. With the Fisher acquisition, it will gain KOMO TV and 19 other television stations, along with KOMO Newsradio, KPLZ STAR 101.5, and KVI 570. (The reader should know that I have appeared on KOMO radio from time to time as an unpaid pundit on economic issues, as I do on several other local stations).

Broadcasting, which uses the public airways, has become one of the most consolidated industries in our era of monopolies, duopolies and cartels. All across the country, formerly proud local stations have been absorbed by the Borg of a few big players.  The Federal Communications Commissionhas done nothing to stop the trend, so don’t expect it to stop the sale of Fisher. But the result is not just lost jobs, but the loss in communities of some of their most important, and influential, touchstones. There’s less competition and innovation, fewer choices and distinctive local stations.

This is especially true in the news operations, which should be serving the public trust and are made better by local ownership and competition. Instead, in a consolidated, cartelized environment, they get their marching orders from elsewhere and a news agenda narrowed down to a one-size-fits-all, often with little emphasis on, or curiosity about, the community. These are just “markets.”

The other curious thing about the latest move is that in 2009 Sinclair said in a regulatory filing that it was considering Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Obviously the company was able to step back from the brink, but it will be interesting to know if Sinclair took on more debt to make the Fisher deal. As for Fisher, it’s too bad the company ever went public, putting its fate in the hands of investors who care nothing for Seattle. A short-term payoff for a few, a long-term loss for the community.



Information about the sale of Fisher Communications to Sinclair

Fisher Communications, owner of Seattle’s KOMO-TV and 19 other television stations, will be acquired for $373 million by Sinclair Broadcast Group, the country’s largest Fox affiliate.  Sinclair said it plans to keep Fisher’s three Seattle radio stations — KOMO Newsradio, KPLZ STAR 101.5 and KVI 570 — even though its focus is TV. (Seattle Times, April 11, 2013: http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2020756564_fisherbroadcastingxml.html)

In a recent conversation with someone who knows the Fisher family, I learned that the family only owns 30% of the stock in what is now a publicly traded company.  So, the decision to go ahead with this sale to a highly conservative media group is in the hands of the Fisher stockholders.  The Fisher family does have a long-time reputation as liberal (Dan Evans) Republicans, a species that may no longer exist, but there may be some hope that the family will want to purchase a station that could become a new progressive broadcasting station in the Seattle Area.  We can hope.

Come to the Meaningful Movie Night in Wallingford this Friday, showing “Corporate FM…the killing of local commercial radio”

Here is another story about the demise of the public airways.  The film shows at 7:30 PM at the Keystone Congregational United Church of Christ, 5019 Keystone Place N., Seattle.  For more information, check the website: http://meaningfulmovies.org/

You can hear your favorite progressive talkers for free using IHeart Radio

You can register for free and access several live progressive radio stations!  http://www.iheart.com/mobile/

If you know anyone who hasn’t signed our petition, please send them the link:



FIRED! 2016 for having an abortion..or using birth control..or getting pregnant…reminder

Friend of Reproductive Rights …

Ben Betz, People For the American Way

Right Wing Watch

Congressional Republicans seem to think that workers are the property of their employers!

They want to reverse DC’s reproductive health non-discrimination law — making it so women could be fired for having an abortion or using birth control — because they say that kind of discrimination is a business owner’s “religious freedom!”

Please stand up to this outrageous extremism and tell Congress: hands off the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act!

sign the petition

First, I ask that you read this whole email, just so you can get a full appreciation for what’s going on here, and how absolutely appalling this example of right-wing extremism is that I’m about to share with you. (And, of course, your voice is also needed in response.)

The Washington, DC City Council recently passed the Reproductive Health Non-Discrimination Act. The law protects workers from being fired or punished by their employers for things like having an abortion, using contraception, or getting pregnant out of wedlock. Or for having a family member (spouse or dependent) engage in the same.

Congress has the authority to reverse local laws passed by the District of Columbia — which itself is a fundamentally undemocratic arrangement, but that’s a story for another email! — and now Republicans in the House are looking to use this authority to repeal the DC law.

Please speak out against this now (then keep reading)!

This repeal is a threat to every woman, and every family with a woman, in DC. Additionally, the driving force behind this Republican intervention represents an urgent national threat to women, to LGBT people, and to the principle of religious liberty.

That’s because at the same time Republicans in Congress are taking their anti-choice attacks to frightening levels, they are escalating the right-wing trend of hijacking “religious liberty” to justify discrimination.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said that Republicans believe the DC law unconstitutionally violates the religious freedom of employers because it “forces employers to hire and retain individuals whose beliefs regarding reproductive health decisions are different from what the employer advocates.”

Ummm, yeah! That’s the entire point of living in a free country! For a group of people who love to talk about “freedom” as much as they do they do, they really, really don’t get it.

In fact, it seems that Republicans think the definition of “freedom” is exclusively reserved for the freedom of businesses to own their employees and control every aspect of their lives.

Anyone who loves the First Amendment and values true religious freedom should be outraged. As should the people Republicans want to make vulnerable to discrimination.

Thanks for making it through this. If you are as incensed about this as I’d expect, please help by spreading the word after you take action.


— Ben Betz, Online Engagement Director

birthright birthers citizenship economy and austerity …

WordpressPicturesOutsidemywindowa repost

just another continued rant on citizenship … from 2013


I thought Republicans had finally grown up and swept the birther issue under a rug somewhere safe.  That seems to have lasted for only about two Romney flip-flops. It is apparent that Tony Perkins, president of the Family Res Council, Republican members of Congress and Governors continue to tell Americans that birtherism, the War on Women and their Rights to… (You fill it in), are without a doubt much more important than their constituents.  I would be happy to see Republicans in Congress, actually do the people’s business, as the current group works for 190days or less and has passed bills that hurt ALL Americans.  Yet, despite everything the Republicans have done, our economy is on the mend. Thanks to President Obama Our slow economic recovery is happening without austerity measures though all the filibustering Mitch McConnell and his comrades continue to engage in against progress; austerity was and still is the word and mission of the new Republican nationalists. While some Americans, seemingly had the wool pulled over their eyes continually. The ugly truth began to leak out at town hall meetings and finally a smidge of buyer’s remorse set in as actual plans received a 2nd look and was rejected, but now what with the 115th congress this path to their economic prosperity still deserves a whole lot of scrutiny from ALL voters because once implemented it looks like only the 1-3% will be happy.

In between all the confusing economy noise, the Republican Party continues to reach new lows in desperate behavior. While birtherism on its face is funny at times because who really takes this stuff serious …right.  Nevertheless, the topic, subject … stupid things conjured up through ideology continues to be added to the conservative conversation and list of ‘Religious Conscience’ though some call it religious instinct. With severe conservatives, we all should wonder if religion, consciousness, or instinct should be allowed in the same sentence let alone our own – conscious thought, considering what Policies the current group of white nationalists will be throwing at Americans prepare repair get your marching shoes. The War on women, immigration, workers, minorities, students, voter rights and religious freedom are Republican issues. The slap of reality, or the rude awakening is … with so many states trying or passing strict negative conservative legislation against the middle and lower class cloaked in big bright new ideas on that path to prosperity that representatives and speaker Paul Ryan is still pushing has now become a trifecta reality that they intend to use or as some feel an abuse and misuse of power.

The political Party of NO, the Republican Party of the 21st Century is no longer our parent’s conservative party.

We all have to know; that the path conservatives want us all on could destroy our democracy.

I will admit,  I usually consider any conservative pledge laughable -until that ” Purity Pledge” from a group named N.O.M. popped up. Common sense if any available, tells you that a pledge to hurt others or exclude them is beyond offensive right, yet, it got signed by all the socially conservative candidates for President.  It says to, among other things commit to practicing exclusion and lest we pay attention to their choice of words “purity.”  This thing, written long before trump took office, is not only archaic but this extremely conservative organization wants, “Signers to pledge: never to engage in pre-marital sex or extramarital affairs, end all viewing of pornography and gambling, never to marry a person of the same gender, and never to “favor any government action that would allow for civil unions of people of the same sex”. I don’t know if all Republicans agree with this purity pledge, we all know that a whole lot have been reported charged or resigned from congress… are failing the Norquist pledge.  And that “family values platform” which also covers birther issues no less, suffice it to say that conservatives behaving badly and that cliché, “do as I say not as I do; comes to mind as most if all are not that pure, if you get my drift. If you believe in social conservatism you will be voting against your own best interest in any election and likely controlled by extreme right policies and that is sad.

The commonality between birthers, birthrights citizenship certainly has to be economy, and austerity or the lack of it or any of the combinations out there …believe this … the latest comments coming from social conservatives are code for and against “the other”.  It should make us all stop and reassess not only the beliefs of these conservatives voted into positions of power and Public Service but we must all challenge them, their oath, and the public servants they profess to be. We all know this group has managed to get away with attacking women, gays, the undocumented and minorities with legislation that will has disenfranchised them in some way. We must remember the past like when voters crossed into Blunt territory – pun intended and luckily, blunt was put out. I wonder if anyone else wonders or imagines how often these fools must meet plan and cover each other on the local state and federal level. Republicans used to decry they want smaller Government yet their current legislation policies include controlling half the population while enjoying enormous tax breaks… again, remember the house of bush and what happened when he gave friends tax breaks? It bares reminding that anything done to one part of our system effects another…our system is interlocked thus anything done adversely affecting our economy’s has a great chance of forcing us into austerity

In the fight for election 2016, it was not clear to all what trump stood for, but as the weeks and months passed it was obvious that you only needed to wait until 3am …because it could change. I’m what a call a progressive dem, I have a different understanding a potus that give regular nasty speech with trump, smacking his lips, slurring his words and spewing a whole lot of inaccurate statements to his audience about Real Americans and has done much nothing but flip flop toward the 1% since Jan.20. I don’t know if Trump will do two terms but given all his babbling …his comments on Race, Gender, the poor or low income and Immigrants should not be ignored or forgotten at the Voting Booth

The sole mission of this Republican Party of No – is to turn back the clock …It is beyond offensive and will affect all our families past present and future



Recycling ::: 5 Million Tons

In 2009 it was reported that this was the amount of trash produced by Americans between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  That is 25 percent more than we generate in a typical five or six-week period during the rest of the year … Consider what the numbers are today

**Reuse packaging material, some UPS stores accept clean peanuts for reuse

**Find eco-friendly places to recycle your Christmas Tree

**Use less envelopes..use ecards or postcards for the Holidays

**Ecyclewashington.org … Washington State and is free for residents & small businesses. They will take 3 items per day…computers, tv, monitors

Do Something to Help Heal our Environment !

Be a Seed for Change