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Parade of FCC ownership opponents ask for stay

A parade of opponents of the FCC’s new ownership rules have petitioned the commission for a stay. Capitol Broadcasting Co. of Raleigh, N.C., the Communications Workers of America, the Consumers Union, the Parents Television Council and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops last week asked the FCC to delay start of the new rules until 60 days after Congress adjourns this fall.

The Media Access Project, legal representatives for the groups, want to give Congress time to consider pending measures that could block or alter the rules. “The commission should demonstrate its respect for the large number of members of both Houses of Congress who have unambiguously demonstrated their disapproval of all or part of the 2002 Biennial Review Order,” the petition said.

Unless a stay is granted by the FCC or a federal court, the rules officially go into effect Sept. 4.

In the meantime, the Federal Appeals Court in Philadelphia will rule on lawsuits filed against the FCC regarding the new media ownership rules. The issue of a stay is among the top items on the court’s pending agenda. If the court grants a stay, it could delay any media deals under the new rules for the remainder of the year or longer.

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