Commissioners Split On Media Ownership
     

The two Republican commissioners at the FCC are not happy the chairman plans to roll the 2010 current media ownership review into the 2014 review, with action expected sometime in 2016.

GOP Commissioner Michael O’Rielly remembers when the review was biennial and the FCC asked to make it every four years. “I think it’s a violation of the law and the promise that we will get to it in 2016 is not comforting,” he said at a regulatory panel here in Las Vegas at the 2014 NAB Show.

“The media landscape has changed significantly, but that’s not reflected in our rules,” he said.

Fellow GOP Commissioner Ajit Pai said, “We just kicked the can down the road for a couple of years.” He noted “there’s no evidence in the record to support keeping the radio cross-ownership rule.”

Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, a Democrat, defended the chairman’s decision. She said the media ownership data the agency has is some 10 to 15 years old and the commission needs to know what the current “ecosystem” looks like and the potential effects any new rules might have.

“There does not seem to be a path to get new data that I would be comfortable with. That’s a core reason as to why I’m taking a more deliberative approach,” said Clyburn.

 


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