Sinclair knocks FCC duopoly rules

FCC restrictions on TV duopolies and local marketing agreements lack "any rational foundation," Sinclair Broadcasting is telling federal judges. The TV station group is challenging an FCC rule barring one company from controlling two stations in the same market if fewer than eight separately owned stations would remain after the deal. Sinclair would be forced to divest LMAs in Columbus and Dayton, Ohio; Charleston, S.C.; and Charleston, W.Va., if the eight-voice test is upheld. Sinclair insists the voice test is a drastic solution that fails the U.S. Supreme Court's "strict scrutiny" test, which requires infringements on free-speech rights to be tailored as narrowly as possible. If the voice-test idea is upheld, the company said in a court filing, the standard should include other media outlets in a market too, such as radio stations, newspapers and cable systems.

RTNDA lobbies against anti-leak law

The Radio-Television News Directors Association last week urged lawmakers to oppose plans by Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) to reintroduce legislation imposing criminal penalties and fines on federal employees who disclose classified information. "The language of the legislation is sweeping," wrote RTNDA President Barbara Cochran in a letter to members of the House and Senate intelligence committees. "Its potential impact on the public's right to know would be disastrous."