FCC authorizes nine media ownership-related studies

On the same day the FCC announced plans to conduct nine separate economic studies as part of its review of rules governing media ownership, the two Democrats on the commission, Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, released statements critical of the undertaking.

The studies, to be conducted by members of the academic community, the FCC and Nielsen, will seek to answer a variety concerns raised by rule changes. They include:

  • How People Get News and Information — Nielsen
  • Ownership Structure and Robustness of Media — FCC
  • Effect of Ownership Structure and Robustness on the Quantity and Quality of TV Programming — University of Arizona
  • News Operations — FCC
  • Station Ownership and Programming in Radio — CRAI
  • News Coverage of Cross-Owned Newspapers and TV Stations — University of Missouri
  • Minority Ownership (two separate studies) — Duke University; Santa Clara University and California State University, Sacramento
  • Vertical Integration — University of Chicago
  • Radio Industry Review: Trends in Ownership, Format and Finance — FCC

The individuals actually conducting the studies and a paragraph describing each are available at www.fcc.gov.

The studies “raise more questions in the public’s mind” than they answer, Copps said in his statement. Among the questions are how the contractors were selected, the amount of money being spent on each project, the type of peer review envisioned and why the topics are “so generalized rather than being targeted” more specifically.

For his part, Adelstein questioned the “scant” descriptions of the studies to be conducted and “the truncated period of time” to complete the studies in certain instances.

For more information, visit www.fcc.gov.