Skip to main content

Editorial: Home, Sweet Home

The National Association of Broadcasters wants to keep the federal appeals court challenge to the FCC’s joint sales agreement decision close to home, and we agree. The quartet of challenges has been consolidated, via lottery, in the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C. Prometheus Radio Project, which is challenging the ownership item because it does not believe it’s tough enough, wants it moved to the Third Circuit, which remanded the original rule change.

But this latest JSA move is a separate issue, which the FCC itself links to a similar radio move in the mid-1990s, not as a response to the Third Circuit remand of rule changes focused primarily on broadcast-newspaper crossownership and diversity issues.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is the court with jurisdiction over federal agency decisions, and should be the court that deals with this decision. It doesn’t hurt broadcasters’ chances that the D.C. court has appeared at times to share industry skepticism about the FCC’s exercise of regulatory authority— from various network neutrality decisions to the commission’s cable ownership caps to broadcast ownership (including cross-ownership) limits.

We won’t start on how inexcusable it is that more than a decade after the FCC proposed loosening some regulations in the face of competition that was growing then and has exploded since, broadcasters still have gotten no relief, but instead have been hit with further regs. OK, granted: We did selfstart on that, but there’s plenty of reason for venting.