S. 2332 Media Ownership Act of 2007

Summary: 

The bipartisan "Media Ownership Act of 2007" (S. 2332) -- introduced by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and co-sponsored by Sens. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) -- would:

  • require 90 days for the public to comment on any proposed media ownership rules put forward by the FCC,
  • require the FCC to complete a separate proceeding to evaluate how localism is affected by media consolidation,
  • require that the public have an opportunity to comment on that proceeding during a 90 day public comment period,
  • require that the localism proceeding must be done separately and be completed prior to a vote on proposed media ownership rules,and
  • requires establishment of an independent panel on female and minority ownership and for the FCC to provide the panel with accurate data on female and minority ownership -- this panel must issue recommendations and the FCC must act on them prior to voting on any proposed ownership rules.

Text of the bill

  • September 15, 2008: Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 966

    January 17, 2008: The Congressional Budget Office estimated that implementing the Media Ownership Act of 2007 (S. 2332) would cost less than $500,000

    12/4/07 The Senate Commerce Committee will consider the bill.

    11/8/2007 Referred to Senate Commerce Committee.

    12/4/07: The Senate Commerce Committee unanimously passed the bill.

Resources: 
Supporters: 

Sponsors:
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss)

Co-sponsors:
Sen Barack Obama (D-IL)
Sen Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)
Sen John Kerry (D-MA)
Sen Bill Nelson (D-Fla)
Sen Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Sen Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
Sen Tester, Jon (D-MT) - 11/14/2007
Sen Dodd, Christopher J. [CT] - 12/3/2007
Sen Sanders, Bernard [I-VT] - 12/3/2007
Sen Feingold, Russell D. [D-WI] - 12/3/2007
Sen Boxer, Barbara [D-CA] - 12/3/2007
Sen Craig, Larry E. [R-ID] - 12/3/2007
Sen Collins, Susan M. [R-ME] - 12/3/2007
Sen McCaskill, Claire [MO] - 12/5/2007
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [PA] - 12/5/2007
Sen Murray, Patty [WA] - 12/6/2007
Sen Menendez, Robert [NJ] - 12/17/2007
Sen Bingaman, Jeff [NM] - 12/18/2007
Sen Corker, Bob [TN] - 12/19/2007
Sen Wyden, Ron [OR] - 1/22/2008

* Free Press: "We are thrilled to see members from both sides of the aisle stand up for the public. This critical legislation will restore fairness and transparency in what has become a corrupt process at the FCC. In the rush to gut media ownership rules, the Commission has ignored the American people, neglected the media diversity crisis, and buried evidence that consolidation harms local communities. The Media Ownership Act would hold the FCC accountable for listening to the public and ensuring that the public airwaves reflect America's diverse local communities. The American people overwhelmingly oppose any rule changes that would allow big companies to swallow up more of their local media. This bill is an important reminder from Congress that the FCC must answer to the public, not corporate interests."

Legislation Date: 
November 8, 2007