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.)