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Broadcasters Appeal to High Court for Ownership Review

Broadcasters Appeal to High Court for Ownership Review

Several broadcasters are pursuing a Supreme Court appeal of the FCC’s new media ownership rules. Viacom, Fox, Tribune and Prometheus Radio Project, among others, filed last Friday. NAB filed its appeal Monday, the deadline day.
Most of the new rules were sent back to the FCC for a re-write. One rule affecting radio, the new radio market definitions, was enacted.
In the filing, the broadcasters ask whether the new market definition for radio “leading to a substantial reduction in the number of local radio stations that may be commonly owned and transferred,” violates the ’96 Telecom Act by repealing the decision of Congress to deregulate media ownership rules.
Broadcasters also ask in the filing whether the FCC violated the Telecom Act by retaining restrictions on local TV ownership in all markets “in the face of overwhelming evidence, acknowledged by the commission, that common ownership in small and mid-sized local television markets will improve competition and advance the public interest.”
The Bush administration decided last week the FCC would not challenge the lower court ruling with its own appeal. No explanation was given for the decision and the FCC has not indicated what it might do next.