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Media Ownership Vote Delayed

Vote will now come in New Year

The FCC has reconsidered the timing of its media ownership proceeding and will delay a vote on relaxing some of the rules until next year.

The commission was under pressure from public interest groups like Free Press, several civil rights groups and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), to conduct an open vote, rather than circulating an item to the commissioners privately.

When Chairman Julius Genachowski started circulating a draft order, the agency also released a study that showed media ownership among minorities was stagnant at 8% of radio and 3.6% of TV stations.

The agency has opened up that report for comments, initial comments are due Dec. 26 and replies by Jan. 4, 2013.

After the LPFM and FM translator vote last week, the chairman was asked about conducting the media ownership vote in public. Genachowski noted the numerous public hearings the agency previously held on the issue.

Now, the vote will be sometime after the new rounds of comments are due.

We reported that Genachowski circulated a draft proposal to, among other things, eliminate the ban on newspaper-broadcast and TV-radio cross-ownership.