FCC Begins Cross Ownership Review

FCC Begins Cross Ownership Review
Author:
Publish date:

The FCC voted 4-0 to review the prohibition that prevents one entity from owning both a TV or radio station and a newspaper in the same market. The agency seeks comment on how the changes in the local media marketplace impact the commission’s long standing goals of diversity and competition, and whether or not these changes should impact the newspaper/broadcast cross ownership rule and waiver policies.
Rarely has the agency granted waivers of this policy.
Approximately 49 grandfathered newspaper/broadcast combinations exist today: 26 newspaper-radio, 15 newspaper-TV, and 8 newspaper-radio-TV combos.
The FCC has granted 4 permanent waivers of the cross-ownership rule since 1975, 2 newspaper-radio combos and 2 newspaper-TV combos.
It urged commenters to provide specific information about the effects these combinations have had in these markets and detail the public interest benefits or harms these combinations have produced. The FCC said this information could provide concrete data on how the marketplace may be affected by changes to the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking asked for comments on a wide variety of options including retention of the rule in its current form, modifying geographic coverage areas, modifying media covered by the rule, applying a market concentration or market voice count test, and eliminating the rule completely.

Related