Congress Opens Investigation Into FCC Chair

Martin faces bipartisan rancor over media ownership laws
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2007 12:28 PM CST
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin speaks during a hearing on localism, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007, at the FCC headquarters in Washington. Federal regulators on Wednesday, Oct....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Kevin J. Martin, is facing a Congressional probe over abuses of power, Variety reports. The head of the House Commerce Committee sent the FCC head a letter alleging "a larger breakdown in the agency." Members of both parties in Congress have criticized Martin's policies, particularly his plans to relax cross-ownership between newspapers and broadcast media.

At an ugly FCC meeting last week two members of the commission, one a fellow Republican, blasted Martin for suppressing data that contradicted his plans to reform the cable TV industry, a charge Martin denies. Media insiders say the pressure on Martin is expected only to heighten as the Democrat-controlled Congress demands answers on media ownership.