FCC Issues Notice to Again Modify Ownership Rules

December 25, 2011

Washington - Dec 22, 2011 - The Federal Communications Commission has released a notice of proposed rulemaking to permit common ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in the top 20 markets under certain conditions. The notice also suggests dropping restrictions on the common ownership for TV and radio stations in all markets. Additional elements of the proposed rulemaking affect TV ownership duopoly rules.

Based on their statements, it's clear the FCC commissioners have varying opinions of the necessity to launch the rulemaking.

In 2007, the FCC ruled to lift the ban on companies owning both broadcast stations and a local newspaper in the top 20 markets. The decision was challenged by public interest groups, and in July 2011 to FCC rule was overturned by a federal appeals court. The court ruled the FCC didn't give the public enough time to comment. With the FCC renewing the rulemaking process provides 45-day comment window to seemingly appease the court.

MB Docket No. 09-182 and MB Docket No. 07-294.

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