FCC opens media ownership proceeding for public comment

The FCC has adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that seeks comment on how to address the issues raised by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Prometheus v. FCC, which two years ago stayed and remanded several media ownership rules that the Commission had adopted in its 2002 Biennial Review Order. The Further Notice also opens a review of all of the media ownership rules.

The FCC opened a review proceeding in 2002 to analyze its broadcast ownership rules. The Commission’s decision, set forth in the 2002 Biennial Review Order, was adopted in June 2003. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued its decision affirming some Commission decisions and remanding others for further justification or modification.

The Further Notice discusses and invites comment on:

  • Should the Commission revise the limits adopted in the 2002 Biennial Review Order on the number of stations that can be commonly owned in one market?
  • Should the Commission revise these numerical limits or is additional evidence available to further justify them?
  • How should the Commission address radio-television and newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership issues?

FNPRM seeks comment on the following rules:

  • Local television ownership limit
  • Local radio ownership limit
  • Newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban
  • Radio-television cross-ownership limit
  • Dual network ban
  • UHF discount on the national television ownership limit

The main page of the Commission’s Web site (www.fcc.gov) will be updated to feature a hyperlink to a Web page dedicated to the media ownership proceeding. The page will feature details on public hearings, access to the FNPRM and studies, and instructions to facilitate the filing of public comments.