Hinchey Offers New Media-Ownership Bill

Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) Tuesday introduced a broad legislation bill that would slap new ownership limits and content controls on television- and radio-station owners.

Hinchey led the failed effort in the House last year to overturn new broadcast-ownership rules adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in June.

Many lawmakers and consumer groups attacked the FCC rules, claiming that they would allow excessive media concentration. A Federal Appeals Court in Philadelphia froze the rules from taking effect while it considered challenges to them.

According to Hinchey's press release, his legislation, among other things, would:

• Void the FCC's new rules;

• Restore the Fairness Doctrine to broadcasters;

• Limit a TV-station group to no more than 35% household reach nationally; and

• Bar any single entity from owning more than 5% of AM and FM broadcast-radio stations nationally, along with local-market limits.

Hinchey's press release did not mention whether any cable-ownership rules would be changed.