4th Latin Media, IT and Communications Conference (+ +)
By Al Berrios

I was very disappointed that this event was so poorly coordinated and managed. Being a non-profit is no excuse for such sloppy scheduling and organizing of an event as important as this.

Other than not being asked for ID or registration, the event started late, the first two speakers were way off topic, the venue, the New School's Tischman Auditorium in New York City was freezing. So why did I hang out for 3 hours?

As it happened, these guys got FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein to come and offer his views on the issue of "emerging" media. Having heard Commissioner Adelstein speak after his fellow commissioners made me realize this guy's the only real brains in the whole organization. (Commissioner Powell is a superstar, appearing on TV every chance he gets. He's clearly a brainiac, but lacks stature. Commissioner Abernathy offered her excessively-jargony and densely boring views on the state of wireless at the "Consect Global Wireless Summit 2003". Frankly, it was impenetrable to all but the most fluent in wireless-ese. Commissioner Martin offered his views on satellite at the "Spring SkyFORUM 2003". He wasn't boring, but he was put on rather late in the day, after a belt-bursting lunch, in a dimly lit room, with the A/C comfortably set on medium... it was a blur 5 minutes after he finished.)

Anyway, Commissioner Adelstein spoke extensively against the merger of Univision (Spanish-language TV broadcast and 5th largest operator in the country) with Hispanic Broadcasting. He denounced the FCC for considering Spanish-language content a small part of a Americans media choices, rather than a the only choice for 70% of the 35 million Hispanics in the country. And although Univision has more flexibility to allocate more its resources to fresh content, rather than marketing to compete for share, at its current size, Commissioner Adelstein considers it a disservice to America's Hispanic consumers to have allowed this merger to occur, effectively creating an oligopoly in the marketplace for this audience.

His track record has always been pro-choice for the consumer, as also demonstrated during the June 2nd vote on expanding broadcast network coverage, and his views keep the FCC on its toes. Luckily, he's young enough to keep pounding away at these sort of consumer issues without breaking a sweat. When he finished his very eloquent and easy to understand presentation, he permitted the audience to ask questions, offered solid answers, then promptly left. I left too, so I can't speak for the remainder of the conference. However, if it was anything like the beginning, I didn't feel bad at all. Overall, 2 pluses (+ +)

Disclaimer: The recommendations, commentary and opinions published herein are based on public information sometimes referenced via hyperlinks. Any similarities or likeness to any ideas or commentary from any other sources not referenced is purely coincidental. al berrios & co. cannot control any results occurring from advice obtained from this publication nor any opinion(s) conveyed by any reader of this publication.

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