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‘Future of Media’ Report Pending

WSJ reports government appears to step away from saving dailies

The idea of the “Future of Media” effort was to help traditional media, especially struggling daily newspapers, by possibly changing federal laws to help them stay afloat.

But the government’s interest appears to have changed, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The newspaper reports that the FCC’s document, due out tomorrow, will instead contain minor suggestions for rule changes, such as requiring broadcasters to place more information online.

The report also is expected to dance around relaxing the TV-newspaper cross-ownership limits, according to the account. An FCC official couldn’t comment on its report, whose recommendations are not binding.

An associated review by the Federal Trade Commission appears to have stalled.

The original “Future of Media” review began after Denver’s Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009 and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer dropped its print edition and went totally online. By 2010, the newspaper industry had laid off more than 11,000 employees over three years, according to the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism report.

The FCC placed former journalist Steve Waldman in charge of the project.