NAB Seeks to Intervene in Prometheus Challenge to FCC Decision

The National Association of Broadcasters has signaled to a federal court that it wants to intervene in the challenges to the FCC's November media ownership dereg decision filed by Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project.

Those groups this week asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to block that decision and force the FCC to do more to take into account the impact of its decisions on media ownership diversity before acting.

NAB says its should be allowed to weigh in with the court as a "party of interest"--it opposes the Prometheus/Media Mobilizing challenges--because its members would be hurt if the November (deregulatory) reconsideration order were reversed and "all the outdated ownership restrictions that were “modified or repealed” on reconsideration reinstated, as Petitioners request."

Those "outdated" regs included eliminating the newspaper-broadcast and the radio-TV cross-ownership rules; allowing dual station ownership in markets with fewer than eight independent voices after the duopoly, creating an opportunity for ownership of two of the top four stations in a market on a case-by-case basis (the FCC is not calling it a waiver); eliminating attribution of joint sales agreements as ownership; and creates an incubator program.

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.