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Powell: Media Ownership Limits Face Rocky Road

Powell: Media Ownership Limits Face Rocky Road

Those hoping for certainty soon in media ownership limits are likely to be disappointed. So says FCC Chairman Michael Powell.
He said he believes it could take five to seven years to establish new ownership rules.
“I don’t mean any one proceeding. I just mean reestablishment of both a framework and a national consensus on what it ought to be,” Powell said, according to Reuters.
Although some parts of the new limits have gone into effect – such as the new radio market definition, attribution of JSAs and the inclusion of noncommercial stations in a total market count – a federal appeals court told the FCC to better justify the rest of the new limits.
The commission has until early January to decide whether to file an answer with the appeals court or to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.
The FCC has struggled to find media ownership limits that satisfy both Congress and the courts.
According to Reuters, Powell said, “I think the regret is not that the rules weren’t put in place, but only that I think it’s now created a fairly chaotic and confused media environment at a time that I think is going to be really troubling to the industry and consumers.”