Senate Votes to Reverse FCC Ownership Rule Change

May 16, 2008

Washington, DC - May 16, 2008 - A vote taken on May 15 by the Senate reverses an FCC decision from December 2007 that would slightly relax the cross-ownership ban for a radio or TV station to own a newspaper in the same market. The resolution of disapproval was sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and 26 other senators.

The FCC passed the action by a 3 Republican to 2 Democrat vote. The previous rule completely prohibited a broadcast licensee from owning a newspaper in the same market. The FCC amendment allowed one company to own a newspaper and a broadcast station in the 20 largest metropolitan areas, as long as the TV station was not one of the top four in the market and at least eight independent media voices must remain.

Dorgan said the FCC rule created a "gaping loophole for more mergers of newspapers and television stations across the country." The House is also considering to vote to reverse the ownership rule, although even if such an action passes the House as well, President Bush will likely veto it.

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