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FCC Will Give Same-Market JSAs Two Years to Comply With Attribution Rule Change

The FCC is proposing giving stations two years to come into
compliance with new rules that count some TV station joint sales agreements
(JSAs) toward the FCC's local ownership caps.

According to sources, stations that sell at least 15% of ad
time for another station in the same market will have two years from the
effective date of the FCC order to either terminate the agreement or bring it
into compliance. That was the same time period the FCC gave radio JSAs to come
into compliance when it made them attributable back in 2003.

That is according to a proposed order in the FCC's
quadrennial media ownership review, which also loosens the newspaper/TV cross-ownership
rule and removes limits on radio/newspaper and radio/TV cross-ownerships. The
order was circulated by FCC chairman Julius Genachowski to the other
commissioners this week for their input and edits.

According to sources, the order does not bring shared services
agreements (SSAs) attributable, as some commenters, including cable operators,
had pushed for, though the FCC may open a separate proceeding, according to one
D.C. communications attorney following the proceedings.

Extending the JSAs to TV along the same lines as radio was
the easiest move the FCC could have made in that area, given that it had
already extended it to radio, and even critics of the move had wondered why the
FCC had not dropped that other shoe by now.

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.