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FCC Sets Next Media Ownership Workshop For Jan. 12

The FCC will hold its next media ownership workshop on Jan.

The workshop, divided into two panels, will focus on
financial and economic conditions affecting broadcasters and the folks who lend
them money.

The first panel will feature small-market broadcasters or
smaller broadcasters in larger markets, as well as lenders. The second will
team lenders with larger or larger-market broadcasters.

Among the topics of conversation will be what effect
ownership rules have on broadcasters' financial health, to what degree lenders
take those rules into account, what the affect of economic changes has been,
and whether they are cyclical or systemic, whether the FCC needs to balance
that financial condition with other policy goals and how it should do that.

The FCC says it is encouraging the public to weigh in at the
hearing, which will be at FCC headquarters in Washington.

Witnesses have not been announced.

The FCC is required in 2010 to conduct a quadrennial
review of its media ownership rules to determine whether they are still
"necessary in the public interest." Some argue that congressional
charter means getting rid of whatever rules are no longer needed--the review
stems from the deregulatory 1996 Telecommunications Act. Others argue that
directive can also mean adding or tightening the ownership rules.