In a new twist in the proposed merger between Sirius and XM, Georgetown Partners seems to have shifted a bit from their stance that has remained steadfastly the same through over thirty meetings with the FCC. For the first time, Georgetown has stepped into an arena of defining at least some of the type of programming they will offer. Up until this point Georgetown has only promised that their programming would be "Family Friendly Programming That Meets FCC Decency Standards". While that sounds noble, it is actually quite broad. The fact of the matter is that every program on terrestrial radio today is "Family Friendly Programming That Meets FCC Decency Standards".
Georgetown Partners (GP) has committed to Media Access Project (MAP) and Public Knowledge (PK) that if the (Georgetown Partners), were to become an independent lessee, and the proposals of MAP and PK were also accepted that GP would work with the two organizations to achieve their stated goals.
Further, Georgetown Partners has committed to the expenses for getting the qualified programming encoded and transmitted to the merged company for broadcast.
Georgetown is still standing fast that they want 20% of the spectrum to be theirs to control. Anything concession dealing with the goals of MAP and PK would be above and beyond what they are seeking. Basically, what we have is an identical demand to what has transpired in the past, but now that GP is willing to work with and facilitate concessions that MAP of PK are able to obtain. It would appear that this may be an effort to gain support for their proposal by absorbing some public access type programming that is commercial free. The question is why MAP and PK would add a step to the process rather than working directly with Sirius and XM.
Clearly, the filings being received by the FCC now are getting down to the nitty gritty. In my opinion, Georgetown would not have brought this to the table if they felt they would get what they are seeking. Perhaps there has been push-back from some of the FCC commissioners on the GP proposal.
We have tried to contact Georgetown Partners dozens of times to discuss their proposals and stances. Company spokesman have never taken a call, and never returned a call.
Position - Long Sirius, XM.