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Potential Cross-Ownership Changes Under Fire

Free Press says MMTC study “critically flawed”

Advocacy group Free Press is slamming a study commissioned by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, another advocacy group, on cross-media ownership.

In comments to the FCC, Free Press says several public interest and civil rights groups opposed the agency’s efforts under former Chairman Julius Genachowski to loosen its media ownership rules without first studying the impact on female and minority owners. Genachowski had proposed eliminating the radio/TV and radio/newspaper cross-ownership rules and loosening the newspaper/TV cross-ownership rules. The FCC postponed action on ownership to give the public time to comment on the study conducted for MMTC by BIA.

The station ownership diversity study doesn’t make a good case to change the rules, asserts Free Press.

“The record in this proceeding already shows that cross-ownership, along with other forms of media consolidation, negatively impacts minority and women owners and raises barriers to entry. And MMTC has provided no evidence to contradict, let alone refute, those conclusions,” states Derek Turner, research director for the organization.

Initial comments to MB Dockets 09-182 and 07-294 were due Monday; the commission is taking reply comments until Aug. 6.