Dorgan: Tighten Cross-ownership Ban

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) says he will push ahead with a resolution to overturn the FCC's loosening of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban despite a veto threat this week from the Bush Administration.

“The president will have to do what he wants to do,” Dorgan said in an audio clip supplied by his office. “He generally stands up for the big economic interests. But I'm not very interested in their threats, I'm interested in legislating good policy here, so I'm going to proceed.”

That declaration followed a letter from Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) defending the FCC decision and saying he would advise President Bush to veto the resolution if it got to his desk. An April 2 hearing to consider the resolution was put off until April 24.

The commission voted Dec. 18 to loosen the rules, prompting lawsuits from media activists and broadcasters alike—the former saying it was too much deregulation, the latter too little.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.