FCC Releases Full Notice on Media Ownership

The FCC has released the full text of the media ownership proceeding that it adopted in June.

The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking begins the review of the commission’s erstwhile ownership rules. It also reconsiders the dual-network ban that enjoins one company from owning more than one broadcast network, and launched the biennial review required by Congress

The rules up for review include the number of TV stations owned by one company in a given market; the number of radio stations owned by a single entity; cross-ownership of radio, TV and newspapers in a market; and the UHF discount on the national TV ownership cap, i.e., stations reaching 39 percent of the market.

The commission’s ownership rules have been in legal limbo since 2003. Those rules allowed one company to own two TV stations in markets with five or more and three in markets with 18 or more (including noncommercial stations); as long as only one was rated among the top four. Cross-ownership was allowed in markets with more than three TV stations.