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Kerry Won't Proceed WithRetrans Legislation

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) said Wednesday (Dec. 8) he would not proceed with retransmission consent legislation now that the FCC has announced that it is issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking on the issue.

“With the FCC taking action and their experts focused on a solution, there’s no need to introduce legislation at this time,” Kerry said in a statement.  “I will work with the FCC and appreciate the agency listening and acting to foster a better dialogue and a more rational system.”

Amidst the retrans impasse between Fox and Cablevision, Kerry released a draft of legislation in October that would include imposing fines for bad-faith bargaining, standstill agreements and the FCC as mediator, but not arbitrator.

The Kerry bill would keep signals on the air while the FCC evaluates both parties and recommends, or doesn't recommend, binding arbitration, during which carriage would also continue.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski had said he welcomed that input.