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FCC revisits ownership restrictions

Jeremy Hobson Oct 25, 2007


Scott Jagow: Radio and TV stations and newspapers are already in the hands of a few. Clear Channel, anyone? But the FCC is considering a plan to loosen ownership rules even more. A group of Senators is gonna try to stop them from doing that. Jeremy Hobson reports from Washington.

Jeremy Hobson: The very same senators tried to block similar rule changes in 2003. In the end, they didn’t have to — a court struck down the changes that would have, among other things, allowed one company to own both a TV station and a newspaper in the same market.

It’s believed that this year’s proposal will do the same thing. And some analysts say the changes are less relevant today, because more people are getting their news from the Internet.

But wait, says Northeastern University journalism professor Dan Kennedy:

Dan Kennedy: Let’s not get too far ahead of the technology right now. The vast majority of people get their TV news from TV. And I think that the idea of getting rid of the cross-ownership rule at this point is really premature.

If Congress doesn’t succeed in forcing the FCC to delay a vote on changing the rules, there’s another option: They could vote to disapprove the changes after the fact. But for that to work, the president would have to be on board as well.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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