FCC May Need To Revisit Newspaper/Broadcast Crossownership: Copps

A spokesman for acting Federal Communications chairman Michael Copps confirmed that he said he believes the agency may have to revisit newspaper-broadcast crossownership restrictions in light of the newspaper's current, high-profile struggles.

The spokesman was confirming a Copps quote Thursday, reported by Bloomberg .

The job cuts, shuttered dailies and moves to Web-only status has drawn the attention of Capitol Hill recently, including a letter to the Justice Department from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggesting it take a broader view of competiton when it considers possible media mergers.

It was unclear just what form any revisit might take. Copps opposed the FCC's decision to loosen the newspaper/broadcast crossownership ban last fall, and his successor, Julius Genachowski, has been officially nominated to replace him, which could happen within weeks.

Currently, the FCC's loosening of the ban has been challenged in court by both broadcasters that think it didn't go far enough, and consumer activists who argue that the FCC had already deregulated the industry too much, so any more was unacceptable.

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.