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Keeping an eye on Us

Whether Congress is serious about killing the broadcast-ownership rules' UHF
discount could become clearer this week.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) will propose eliminating the discount -- which
counts only one-half of a UHF station's audience reach toward the ownership caps -- when the
Senate Commerce Committee votes on Federal Communications Commission
reauthorization Thursday.

The reauthorization bill is given much better odds than the broadcast-reregulation bill the panel approved last week.

If Senate Commerce chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) supports Lautenberg's proposal,
sources predicted that the provision will likely remain protected as reauthorization
moves toward enactment.