/// FCC’s Genachowski Circulates Media Ownership Order

November 14, 2012  |  Media Week

There was no doubt that the Federal Communications Commission would wait until after the election to deal with the always controversial review of media ownership rules that have been in and out of court since 2008. On Wednesday, the FCC confirmed that chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a proposed order of the rules for a vote among the other four commissioners The FCC is about two years behind schedule on Congressional requirements that the rules be reviewed every four years. The commission is not expected to officially reveal details of the order, which are based on a proposed rule-making opened a year ago. But if the order follows the rule-making document, the FCC will essentially keep in place what the agency proposed in 2007—and has been defending in court ever since. In other words, the results would be close to the status quo. The new rules would loosen the 70s-era ban on newspaper-broadcast cross ownership, codify newspaper-TV-radio in the top 20 markets and maintain local market caps on radio and TV ownership. Here's how the FCC described it in a statement released Wednesday afternoon: “FCC Chairman Genachowski today shared a proposal with his colleagues to streamline and modernize media ownership rules, including eliminating outdated prohibitions on newspaper-radio and TV-radio cross ownership. As the commission recognized last year, while the media marketplace is in transition, broadband and new media are not yet available as ubiquitously as traditional broadcast media, and certain protections therefore remain important to promoting competition, diversity, and localism.

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