FCC Chief Gets Grilled on Hill

House members want cross-ownership vote delayed; Dems plead for oversight
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2007 1:37 PM CST
Rep. Maurice Hinchey,D-N.Y., speaks at a rally outside the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) headquarters in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – FCC Chairman Kevin Martin faced angry questioning from both sides of the aisle at a House oversight meeting yesterday, as many urged the commissioner to delay December 18's vote on a controversial change to media cross-ownership rules. Martin said the plan, which would allow companies to own both a newspaper and TV or radio station, was only a “minor loosening”; but his Dem colleagues cried foul.

“The FCC is lurching dangerously off course, and I fear at this point only congressional oversight can put us back on track,” said one. Indeed, Martin’s leadership was assailed by House members, the Post reports, as he was accused again of using bad data and not letting fellow commissioners have appropriate input, charges first leveled at the November FCC public meeting.