The Senate Commerce Committee is set to vote next week on a resolution disapproving the rule passed by the FCC which partially relaxes the ban that prevents one company from owning both a daily newspaper and either a TV or a radio station in one market.
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. introduced the “resolution of disapproval” in the Senate earlier this month; Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., introduced a companion measure in the House. The resolution gives Congress an opportunity to nullify the action taken by the federal agency within three months.
The FCC voted on the change to its media ownership rule in December. Supporters of the change say the cross-ownership ban is the only ownership rule that has never been relaxed and what the FCC did — relaxing the ban in the top 20 television markets under certain conditions — was minor.
Congressional opponents believe the change is too de-regulatory; before the vote they had urged commissioners to hold off on ownership action until the broadcast localism proceeding was completed.
The Senate Committee vote is slated for Wednesday, April 2.