McDowell: Ownership Likely to Dominate FCC Time; Supports Breaking Up Item

McDowell: Ownership Likely to Dominate FCC Time; Supports Breaking Up Item
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New FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell supports breaking up the media ownership proceeding into more manageable chunks, and in particular separating out the cross-ownership/newspaper ban, though he told reporters at his first press briefing Tuesday that this is not an indication that the chairman intends to separate the items that are now all in one proceeding.
Media ownership "will probably dominate" the commission agenda for the next few months, he said.
Radio ownership limits are in play in the proceeding; McDowell declined to say whether the agency should raise or lower these or any of the limits.
"It's a challenge to update rules that are very old and were created in a different era," said McDowell, although he noted there are more media outlets now. "In the meantime, we do have to thread the needle handed to us by the Third Circuit," referring to the federal appeals court order that the commission justify its numerical media ownership limits. He said he has read the case but needs to review it several times.
He also declined to speculate on the timeframe for finalizing IBOC rules.


McDowell on Increasing Minority Station Ownership

Robert McDowell says he hears the hollers: "We have been yelled at about the Iraq war, global warning, the tyranny of America's copyright laws and the need to legalize drugs," so said the FCC Commissioner in discussing the commission's media ownership hearings.