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Writers Guild wants rewrite on Comcast/NBC Universal merger

August 19, 2010 |  6:17 pm

Hollywood's scribes want to scratch a line through the proposed Comcast/NBC Universal merger -- at least the way it's currently written.

The Writers Guild of America, West on Thursday warned the FCC that the merger would not serve the public interest unless it imposed requirements to "preserve fair competition and promote diversity of content sources."

"The control of our news, information and entertainment sources in increasingly fewer hands is a profoundly negative development not just for writers but for consumers and all citizens in a democracy,'' the guild said in its most recent filing with the FCC.

Among the guild's recommendations: requiring the merged company's broadcast and cable networks to devote at least 25% of their prime-time schedule to programming from independent producers and preventing Comcast from bumping unaffiliated cable networks out of its basic cable tier.

 "The FCC should require that this merger create more competition, not less; more diversity not less," the guild said.

-- Richard Verrier