Copps calls for idea to support PBS

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Acting FCC Chair Michael Copps thinks America needs ways to address market failures in media businesses. “For example, should we find a way adequately to fund PBS or some other group that is actually interested in doing the job?” In a speech before the “Free Press Summit: Changing Media,” today at the Newseum, he also said that perhaps that would be “a PBS-S, Public Broadcasting System on Steroids. That can’t be done on the cheap, and we’ll hear laments that there’s not a lot of extra cash floating around these days. But other nations find ways to support such things. The point is we need to start talking, start planning, now. ” He also said that “we still need to get serious about defining broadcasters’ public interest obligations and reinvigorating our license renewal process.” It is time, he said, “to say goodbye to post-card renewal every eight years and hello to license renewals every three years with some public interest teeth.” That brought hearty applause from the audience, made up of journalists, broadcasters, bloggers, policy makers and interested citizens. Here are his full remarks.