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How Many Stations Make a Market?

How Many Stations Make a Market?

The FCC intends to vote Thursday Dec. 7 on whether it should change how it defines radio markets for ownership purposes: counting the total number of stations in a market and the number of stations owned by one entity.
The commission has been using the same definition since 1992, and wonders if the changes in radio ownership rules and how it defines markets have had unintended consequences.
If passed, a Notice of Proposed Rule Making would ask if Arbitron market definitions, rather than the current overlapping signal contour standard, would result in a more accurate station count. Some FCC commissioners wonder if its current system produces unrealistic results in some cases when a station is counted as being in a market but is not counted against a licensee’s ownership limit in that market.