Powell Hints About Cross Ownership

Speaking to the Newspaper Association of America, FCC Chairman Michael Powell hinted that the cross-ownership ban might change. Public interest groups that oppose dropping or relaxing the ban believe there will be a rush to consolidate newspapers and TV stations if restrictions are lifted.

Without specifically mentioning the rules, Powell said some deregulatory moves are needed. "We are seeing a world emerging of spider pipes--multiple routes into the home, all connecting to the Web," the chairman said. "We already see cable modem, DSL (digital subscriber line), power-line, 3G wireless technology, WiFi networks, satellite-broadband and fiber-to-the-home networks."

The Seattle Times reported that after the speech, Powell told reporters he believes a change in cross-ownership is "likely," but he wouldn't say "definitely."