Federal regulators are loosening rules meant to support independent local media, the AP reports. Now, one company can own both newspapers and TV stations in one market, undoing a ban in place since 1975. Thursday's vote by the Federal Communications Commission also makes it easier for one company to own two broadcast TV stations in one market and coordinate operations with stations owned by others.
The newspaper and broadcasting industries say they need the changes to deal with growing competition from much larger web and cable companies. Critics say dumping these rules, by encouraging consolidation, hurts media diversity. Free Press, a group that opposes media mergers, said Thursday that it will challenge the rule changes in court.
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