FCC Gives Terrier Media More Time to Comply With Rules

The FCC will allow Terrier Media to continue to own both a broadcast property and a daily newspaper, at least until March 16.

Back in November, the FCC's Media Bureau approved the multi-billion-dollar sale of Cox and Northwest TV and radio stations to Apollo Global Management's newly formed Terrier Media on the promise of some tweaks to align the deal with a court decision restoring some FCC regulations eliminated by the Pai FCC, including the prohibition on owning broadcast properties and daily newspapers.

Related: Cox Sells Stations to Apollo

To square the deal with the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule, Terrier said it was prepared to change the publication frequency of three Cox newspapers in Ohio so that they would only publish three times a week and thus no longer be daily newspapers--stations and less-frequently published papers can be co-owned.

The deadline for Terrier to come into compliance with FCC rules is Jan. 16.

But Terrier says it now plans to sell the papers and asked for a little more time to do that, rather than having to change the newspapers' frequency and thus "save the Dayton Newspaper readers and advertisers from the disruption that reducing the publication schedule would cause." Terrier said that would help preserve the "trusted relationships" with its readers, which it argues is crucial to those papers' long-term success.

"We find that it is in the public interest to grant the Extension Request," said Michelle Carey, chief of the FCC's Media Bureau. "Specifically, we find that allowing Terrier Media to operate the Dayton Newspapers through March 16, 2020, will advance the Commission’s goal of localism by preserving the ability of the Dayton Newspapers to maintain continuous daily readership until a buyer for the Dayton Newspapers is finalized."

Terrier promised that if it had not sold the papers by March 16, it would not seek a further extension and would reduce the papers' frequency as initially promised.

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.