FCC May Ease Rules on Media Owners

Would allow firms to own newspapers and TV stations in same city
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 18, 2007 6:22 AM CDT
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin J. Martin, left, accompanied by commissioners Michael J. Copps, center, and Jonathan S. Adelstein, right. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – 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.