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Free Press Praises Media Ownership Stall

New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler pulls broadcast ownership review to reassess

At least one advocacy group is happy that the FCC is planning a reboot on changes to its media ownership rules.

Free Press President Craig Aaron called new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s decision to pull back the current media ownership item from circulation “a good first step.”

His predecessor, Julius Genachowski, had circulated the previous version, which, among other things, would have eliminated the ban on newspaper-radio and television-radio cross-ownership.

Wheeler withdrew the item in order to reassess the issue, according to several accounts.

The commission must review its media ownership rules every four years. The 2010 review is what was circulating among the commissioners; that’s now likely to be included in the 2014 review.

In meetings with commission staff this week about various issues, the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council President David Honig says the group doesn’t oppose modest relaxation of the cross-ownership rule in large and some medium markets, as long as minority station ownership is not diminished.