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Radio, TV, Newspapers Urge FCC to Lighten Local Ownership Rules

Radio, TV, Newspapers Urge FCC to Lighten Local Ownership Rules

A coalition of radio, television and newspaper companies and associations sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and other commissioners, urging the agency to recognize the need to reform media ownership rules.
Pointing to increased competition from non-regulated media such as cable networks, satellite operators, alternative print publications and the “virtually unlimited voices available on the Internet,” the group said the environment in which FCC media ownership rules were originally adopted has changed.
“Technological and marketplace developments — especially the growth of multichannel programming distributors and the Internet — have fundamentally altered the landscape in which the commission’s ownership rules were originally adopted,” wrote the companies, including radio broadcasters Clear Channel, Bonneville, Citadel, Cox and Entercom.
“As a result of this explosion of outlets and new technologies, television and radio broadcasters are experiencing unprecedented challenges in maintaining their audience shares and the advertising revenues essential to the survival of nonsubscription media.”
The companies added: “The commission should modernize its local ownership rules to reflect these dramatic changes in the media marketplace, and to ensure that local television and radio broadcasters, as well as daily newspapers, are not unfairly hampered in their ability to serve the public by outmoded regulations that limit them and not their competitors.”
Reply comments on the proposed media ownership rule changes (MB Docket 06-121) are due to the FCC by Dec. 21.