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Newspaper Chief Sturm: Martin Didn't Go 'Nearly Far Enough'

If Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin's self-described "moderate" lifting of the newspaper-cross-ownership ban still went too far down the path of deregulation for some legislators and media activists, it did not go nearly far enough for Newspaper Association of America president John Sturm.

While he called the chairman's proposal -- which would be generally limited to the top 20 markets and only among stations below the top four -- "well-intentioned," he also said it would not be sufficient to ensure the vitality of newspapers and availability of local news that Martin said he was trying to help preserve.

“As we have said repeatedly for the past 10 years, the record at the FCC supports full and complete repeal of this outdated rule. As the chairman noted, even the court in 2003 agreed that, ‘Reasoned analysis supports the commission’s determination that the blanket ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership was no longer in the public interest.’”

He added, “The radical and irreversible market changes that have occurred in every community since this rule was adopted more than 30 years ago have extinguished any basis for this across-the-board ban.”