FCC Chairman Kevin Martin this week called again for revision of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban, noting the media landscape has changed much since the rules' inception in 1975, when there were only about 7,500 radio stations compared to the nearly 14,000 facilities that exist today.
Yet newspaper numbers have declined since that time, he noted, saying nearly 300 dailies have stopped publishing since the cross-ownership rule was adopted. The FCC has tried to revise the rule several times under previous chairmen including Reed Hundt and Bill Kennard, without success, he said.
The commission did eliminate the rule in 2003 under Michael Powell, but a federal court overturned the changes to that rule and sent it back to the agency for revision, along with most of the other changes to the media ownership rules the FCC had voted to adopt that year.
"We should correct any imbalance in our rules, create a level playing field and give newspapers the same opportunities other media entities enjoy," said Martin.
Once the commission gathers new comments on media ownership, it can decide whether to handle cross-ownership separately or to bundle it with all of the other media ownership rules, he said.
The latest product and technology information
Future US's leading brands bring the most important, up-to-date information right to your inbox