Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin has called on FCC chairman Michael Powell to postpone the scheduled Jun 2 vote on changes to media ownership rules until the public has had the opportunity to comment.
Feingold, who has raised concerns over the last few years about consolidation in the media industry since the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, has introduced legislation targeting consolidation in the radio industry and is a co-sponsor of legislation to prevent further consolidation in the television industry.
The rules proposed by the FCC would lift the ban against newspaper and broadcast cross-ownership that has been in place for over 25 years. In addition, the current proposal would dramatically change the rules regarding local TV ownership. The new rules would allow a single company to own two TV stations in a single market, or even three stations in the largest markets. It would permit a single company to own stations reaching 45 percent of the country, which actually means up to 90 percent if the company owns only UHF stations. While the current limits on local radio ownership would be retained, the proposal would allow for significantly increased radio and TV cross-ownership.
For more information visit www.fcc.gov.