FCC rule doesn’t apply to Tribune

Jill Barshay Nov 30, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

FCC rule doesn’t apply to Tribune

Jill Barshay Nov 30, 2007
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The Federal Communications Commission has a rule that one company can’t own a TV station and a newspaper in the same market.
But today, the FCC might make an exception — for a billionaire named Sam Zell. Jill Barshay explains.


Jill Barshay: The Tribune Company owns newspapers and TV stations in Los Angeles and Chicago. Tribune has an exemption from the FCC rule, but it expires when the company changes hands.

Sam Zell bought Tribune earlier this year. He needs a new waiver to operate the company.

Bob Williams: This is huge. Who owns the media is a very big deal in democracies.

That’s Bob Williams of the Consumers Union. He says the FCC has already tried and failed to get rid of all kinds of media ownership restrictions.

After the Commission hands Zell his waiver, it’ll take one more shot at nixing the newspaper-TV ban. Maybe as early as Dec. 18.

Williams doesn’t like that idea:

Williams: People get their news, their local news, from the local paper and they get it from the local TV stations. If those are all owned by one company in a market, they dominate the debate.

The chairman of the FCC says thanks to the Internet, there are lots of competitive news sources out there.

I’m Jill Barshay for Marketplace.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.