NAB: D.C. Court Gets JSA Challenge
According to the National Association of Broadcasters, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has been chosen to hear both its and Prometheus' challenges to the FCC's media ownership rule review vote.
NAB had filed suit in that circuit, while Prometheus chose the Third Circuit, which remanded the original rules back to the FCC. In that instance, there is a lottery to see which court gets the case (held by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Ligitation) , and the D.C. circuit won, as did NAB, which prefers that venue. Actually, three cases were consolidated. Nexstar also filed against the FCC's ownership decision.
NAB is challenging the FCC's decision to make joint sales agreements (JSA's) of over 15% attributable as ownership interests, saying the decision was arbitrary and capricious.
Prometheus says that decision was arbitrary and capricious, too, but because the FCC did not explain why 15% was the magic number, and because it did nothing to rein in other sharing arrangements.
The challenges extend beyond JSA's and sharing agreements to broader ownership issues, including the FCC's decision not to loosen the newspaper/broadcast crossownership ban.
Look for Prometheus to ask the D.C. court to transfer the case to the Third Circuit, which NAB would oppose.
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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.