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FCC Asks Court to Keep Cross-Ownership Change Stayed

New commission to begin new ownership review

The FCC has asked a federal appeals court to keep in place the stay on the 2008 rules change that loosened the ban against one entity owning both a broadcast station and a daily newspaper in the top 20 TV markets if certain conditions were met. The request is contained in a status report filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Common Cause, Prometheus Radio Project and other groups challenged the 2008 order, which the court stayed. The court ordered the stay to remain in effect this June and asked parties to file status reports by Oct. 1, including their opinions on whether the stay should be lifted.

The FCC told the court this May that the 2008 order didn’t reflect the views of a majority of the commission and wants the stay to remain in place; Two weeks after the court issued its order in June respecting the stay, three new members joined the commission.

The agency must review its media ownership rules every four years and repeal or modify any that it finds are no longer in the public interest. The commission is laying the ground work now for its 2010 review with the first of several planned workshops slated to happen next month.