Groups Pressure FCC to Back Off Media Ownership Vote

Civil rights groups, media activists and unions will try to
put renewed pressure on the FCC to back off a vote on its quadrennial review of
media ownership rules until it has sufficiently studied the impact of proposed
changes on women and minorities.

On Wednesday, representatives of the Leadership Conference
on Civil and Human Rights, Newspaper Guild/CWA, Free Press and others will hold
a teleconference to urge the commission to "stop its rush to lift
longstanding media ownership limits."

FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has circulated an order that
according to multiple sources would loosen the newspaper/TV station cross-ownership
ban along the lines of an effort by his Republican predecessor, Kevin Martin;
remove restrictions on newspaper/radio station cross-ownership; lift the ban on
TV station/radio cross-ownership, but also make some joint sales agreements
subject to the local ownership caps.

The groups have already written the chairman expressing
their concern that it would be premature to vote until it analyzes the impact
on women and minorities, as instructed by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in
remanding the rules back to the FCC.

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.