Media and Nuclear Energy: Interlocking Industries

While the Fukushima nuclear disaster has gotten plenty of attention on network programming, the debate has consistently overlooked the most fundamental question of whether nuclear power can be harnessed safely (FAIR Blog, 3/14/11). In asking why this question remains muted, a look at their boards of directors reveals that all three major broadcast networks share at least two members with companies that produce or transmit nuclear energy.

With nuclear powerhouse General Electric as co-owner of NBC, it’s not surprising that GE‘s CEO Jeffery Immelt and CFO Keith Sherin both sit as directors on the network’s board. But it’s not the only network whose board has nuclear energy connections: ABC‘s directors include a representative from Halliburton as well as from Edison Mission Energy. Not to be outdone, CBS, a former subsidiary of the energy giant Westinghouse, seats three board members from the nuclear energy industry’s Southern Company, NSTAR and Consolidated Edison.

Can nuclear power be harnessed safely? The livelihood of these network board members depends on answering the question in the affirmative.