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Ownership: The ‘Pleased’, ‘Disappointed’ Camps Speak Out

Ownership: The 'Pleased', 'Disappointed' Camps Speak Out

Reaction was swift to the FCC’s media ownership rule changes. “In large part, the FCC has finally done what both Congress and the courts have asked it to do, and our free speech needs it to do,” said House Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La. “The new suit of rules recognize and reflect the explosive growth in the number and variety of media outlets in the market, as well as the significant efficiencies and public interest benefits that can be obtained from common ownership. Tauzin said the rules continue to guard against undue concentration.
Clear Channel Communications President/COO Mark Mays said the agency “chose politics over the public interest.”
“Just ten years ago, nearly 60 percent of the nation’s radio stations were operating in the red, cutting news budgets and laying off employees. Deregulation changed all that. But instead of letting radio stations find better and more innovative ways to serve their listeners, the FCC is intent on turning the clock back to a time when the industry was incapable of providing consumers the variety of programming it does today.”
NAB took a wait and see attitude to the rules, preferring to withhold comment, other than saying it recognized the hard work of the commissioners, until the full details of the new were released.
Senate Commerce Chairman John McCain plans to have all 5 commissioners in for a hearing on the new rules Wednesday.