The name that pops out among the list of witnesses slated for Monday’s House Judiciary Committee field hearing on the Comcast-NBC U pact is Kevin Martin.
He’s the former chairman of the FCC, and as an attorney at the law firm of Patton Boggs has been representing groups including the Communication Workers of America and National Coalition of African Owned Media, two groups highly critical of the deal. But on the witness list rundown, he is listed as representing Bloomberg, which has its own skepticism about the combination of the two media giants.
The hearing, slated to start at 9 a.m. at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, is expected to focus heavily on what the Comcast and NBC U deal will mean for independent producers and minority media ownership, as well as each company’s hiring records both on screen and off. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who will be at the hearing, criticized NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker at a congressional hearing last February for the networks lack of shows aimed at African-American audiences. And in a letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski, urging the commission to conduct its own field hearing, she cited low marks Comcast and NBC U have received by the National Hispanic Media Coalition in the hiring of Latinos among their executive ranks.
Monday’s hearing will consist of two panels. Martin will testify at the first, along with reps for NBC U and Comcast. Also expected: Samuel Kang of the Greenlining Institute, Stan Washington of the National Coalition of African Owned Media, Jim Weitkamp of the Communication Workers of America, Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and law professor Allen Hammond of the Broadband Institute of California at Santa Clara University.
The next panel is expected to include writer producer Suzanne de Passe, director-producer Reginald Hudlin, Darnell Hunt of the Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, Kathryn Galan of the National Assn. of Latino Independent Producers, producer Phillip Rodriguez, Tower of Babel’s Frank Washington, music and cable entrepreneur Will Griffin and TV One/Radio One’s Alfred Liggins.
Committee members expected include Waters, its chairman, John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) and Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) also may attend.
The lineup could change — expand or contract — over the weekend.
The FCC will have its field hearing on the Comcast-NBC U deal in Chicago on July 13.
Update: The updated witness list, just released by the committee, is below.