Several bi-partisan senators are working to nullify the FCC’s December decision to allow single companies to own newspaper-broadcast combinations in the nation’s top 20 markets. If the decision is overturned, the Tribune Co. and other affected companies will fight any new legislation. The “legislative veto” push is being led by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND), along with 14 other senators, according to the Los Angeles Times. The National Association of Broadcasters plans to file suit against the FCC in federal court over the loosening of the ownership rules.
In passing the media ownership proposal in December, the FCC disregarded 25 U.S. Senators who said they would block the decision should the FCC pass it. In defense of the decision, FCC chairman Kevin Martin claims that the media marketplace is considerably different than when the original media ownership rule was put into place in 1975. He defends cross-ownership, saying it will “help to forestall the erosion in local news coverage by enabling companies to share news-gathering costs across media platforms.” I really don’t buy that argument and neither should Congress. Hopefully the Senators will be able to push through legislation that will correct what the FCC has done.
Source: Los Angeles Times
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