FCC Has Until Feb. 2 to Answer Third Circuit

A federal appeals court has told the FCC to respond to a request that the court stay implementation of the FCC's December media regulation rule rollback.

That is according to a document issued last Friday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

In a petition for an emergency writ of mandamus filed last week, Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project had asked the court to block the Feb. 7 implementation of the FCC's November broadcast ownership deregulation decision and direct the commission to better gauge the impact of that decision on media ownership diversity before proceeding.

Related: NAB Seeks to Intervene in Prometheus Challenge to FCC Decision

It has long been arguing that commissions under both Republicans and Democrats have failed to follow the Third Circuit's directive to consider diversity in its periodic reviews of its broadcast ownership rules.

The court gave the FCC until 3 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 2, to respond to Prometheus et al.

Earlier this month, and continuing a Groundhog Day-like cycle of FCC media ownership decisions and trips to court, Prometheus, which has been battling FCC attempts to deregulate broadcast ownership for a decade and a half, had filed suit in the Third Circuit against the FCC's November decision to eliminate the newspaper-broadcast and radio-TV crossownership prohibitions and loosen other broadcast regulations, saying the FCC had "ignored evidence in the record, misinterpreted evidence, and failed to consider important aspects of the record."

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.