At last week’s House Communications Subcommittee oversight hearing, Chairman Ajit Pai promised to bring to a vote the overhaul of the broadcast media ownership rules at November’s FCC Open Hearing. As promised, the Commission has released a draft of a proposed new Order on Reconsideration and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would effectively eliminate newspaper-broadcast and radio-television cross-ownership rules.
In response to the chairman’s move, NAB Executive Vice President/Communications Dennis Wharton said, “NAB strongly supports Chairman Pai’s plan for modernizing broadcast media ownership rules. For 40 years, policymakers and the courts have blessed countless mega-mergers among national telco, cable, and satellite giants, while at the same time blocking broadcast/newspaper or radio/TV combinations in single markets. This nonsensical regulatory approach has harmed the economic underpinning of newspapers, reduced local journalism jobs, and punished free and local broadcasters at the expense of our TV and radio competitors. We look forward to rational media ownership rules that foster a bright future for broadcasters and our tens of millions of listeners and viewers.”