February 13, 2016
By Tara Jessup
Long Island, NY – The Fair Media Council is now opposing the proposed acquisition of Cablevision by Luxembourg-based Altice NV, citing grave concern for the public interest, public safety and the local economy.
"The burden of debt Altice will assume, combined with Altice's reputation for diminished services and the company's lack of experience in this market – which is already apparent in its missteps in preparation to purchase Cablevision – combine to make this the perfect storm of a deal that will result in irreparable harm to the public and the region," said Jaci Clement, CEO and Executive Director of the Fair Media Council.
In its Feb. 5, 2016 filing with the Public Service Commission, FMC expressed 'no confidence' in the Altice sale – noting Altice's own strategy amounted to little more than profit margins gained through cost-cutting measures. In opposing the sale of Cablevision, Fair Media joins New York City, the Communications Workers of America, and many media advocate organizations.
"The Fair Media Council has listened intently to the concerns expressed by our members and supporters, and the consensus is simply this: No to foreign ownership. No to the loss of local control. No to Cablevision revenue leaving the local economy. No to the announced cost-cutting measures that will surely result in job loss and diminished service, news and information," Clement noted.
*** The Fair Media Council is one of the oldest and most successful media watchdog organizations in the country. Based on Long Island since 1979, FMC has nearly 200 corporations and nonprofit organizations as members.