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White House to Create Digital TV Panel

Times Staff and Wire Reports

The White House will appoint an advisory panel of broadcasters, public-interest advocates and others to suggest stepped-up public interest obligations for TV broadcasters once they receive and start using new digital broadcast licenses. “Digital technology will greatly enhance the opportunities available to broadcasters to utilize multiple channels or programs,” Vice President Al Gore said. Currently, with their analog licenses, broadcasters like News Corp.'s Fox, Walt Disney Co.'s ABC and Westinghouse Electric Corp.'s CBS must air at least three hours a week of educational shows for children and sell ad space to political candidates at relatively inexpensive rates. Their new rights, which the Federal Communications Commission is on track to deliver to stations this year, will give them broad new possibilities and carry more responsibilities.


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