Originally published: December 22, 2011
Last updated: December 23, 2011 - 4:03am
The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment on economic studies analyzing the relationship between local media market structure and the policy goals -- competition, localism, and diversity -- that underlie the FCC’s media ownership rules. In particular, the FCC reaffirms that a major goal of the rules is to encourage the provision of local news, and the invites suggestions about how that goal can be further achieved.
In addition, the FCC seeks comment on the aspects of the FCC’s 2008 Diversity Order that the Third Circuit remanded in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC (Prometheus II). In Prometheus II, the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit considered appeals of the FCC’s review of the media ownership rules in the 2006 Quadrennial Review Order. The court:
- affirmed the FCC’s decision to retain the local television and radio rules to protect competition in local media markets,
- affirmed the FCC’s decision to retain the dual network rule based on potential harm to competition that would result from mergers of the top four networks,
- affirmed the FCC’s conclusion to retain the radio/television cross-ownership rule as well as, in part, to retain the local radio rule based on the benefits to the FCC’s diversity goal,
- vacated and remanded the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule as modified by the FCC in the 2006 Quadrennial Review Order, concluding that the FCC failed to comply with the notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedures Act, and
- vacated and remanded a number of measures adopted in the FCC’s 2008 Diversity Order, which the FCC now addresses.
Now the FCC proposes to:
- retain the current local television ownership rule with minor modifications,
- retain the current local radio ownership rule,
- retain the Dual Network rule without modification,
- loosen the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule mainly as proposed in the 2006 rule, and
- eliminate the radio/television cross-ownership rule in favor of reliance on the local radio rule and local television rule.
The FCC also invites views on how its ownership rules and policies can promote greater minority and women ownership of broadcast stations. The FCC will explore a broad range of potential actions it might take to that end.
- Third Circuit Remands Newspaper-Broadcast Rule Change to FCC (Updated)
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- Free Press Opposes FCC Proposal to Relax Ownership Rules
- NAB: Ownership Rules Put Broadcasters' Future In Jeopardy
- Bill to Block FCC’s Cross-Ownership Changes Hits House
- Sturm Makes Newspapers' Case for Lifting Cross-Ownership Ban
- New Ownership Rules Necessitate Clearer Public Interest Obligations
- Tribune Wants It Now and Never
- Beyond Media Ownership, FCC Passes Package of Items
- Flood of Filings Challenges FCC’s Cross-Ownership Decision
- Lawmakers tell FCC to preserve local media ownership rules
- Prometheus Asks Court to Vacate Ownership-Rule Change
- Prometheus Radio Project Against Martin’s Cross-Ownership Loosening
- NAB: FCC Should Allow More Duopolies in More Markets
- Consumer Groups Push Back on Martin Cross-Ownership Plan