FCC May Ease Rules on Media Owners

Would allow firms to own newspapers and TV stations in same city
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2007 6:22 AM CDT
FCC May Ease Rules on Media Owners
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin J. Martin, left, accompanied by commissioners Michael J. Copps, center, and Jonathan S. Adelstein, right. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)   (Associated Press)

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wants to relax limits on media consolidation, starting with repealing the rule that a company cannot own a newspaper and television or radio station in the same city, the New York Times reports. The commission is split, with two Democrats opposed and three Republicans supporting, a majority that may be too fragile to change the rules.

Martin has proposed an aggressive timetable for rolling back the 60-year-old rule—which previous FCC chief Michael Powell attempted to relax, only to lose to a court challenge three years ago—by the end of the year. “If the chairman intends to do something by the end of the year, then there will be a firestorm of protest," said one lawmaker. (Read more Sam Zell stories.)

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