19 December 2007

Cross Ownership Ban Going Away?

I will try to comment on this later. The FCC is about to give complete green light to media conglomeration.

From PBS:

Publishing conglomerates have been buying up local newspapers for more than thirty years, but they've been prohibited from buying radio and TV stations in their home towns. The FCC is poised to relax this rule within the month.
This week, the FCC went before the Senate Commerce Committee to discuss media ownership rule changes that Chairman Kevin Martin has been advocating, hoping to push through by December 18. Martin explains:

"This proposal would allow a newspaper to purchase a broadcast station - but not one of the top four television station - in the largest 20 cities in the country as long as 8 independent voices remain. This relatively minor loosening of the ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership in markets where there are so many voices and sufficient competition would help strike a balance between ensuring the quality of local news gathering while guarding against too much concentration."

Yet after 6 public hearings on proposed changes, the latest in Seattle on November 9 that lasted until 1 in the morning, public opinion appears to be overwhelmingly opposed to relaxing the rules. "We told you a year ago when you came to Seattle...What part of that didn't you understand?" stated area resident Susan McCabe at the hearing.

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