FCC Prepares to Open Top 20 Media Markets to Cross-Ownership of TV, Newspapers and Radio

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

Picking up where the George W. Bush administration left off, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under President Barack Obama is attempting to allow corporations to own newspapers as well as television and radio stations in the country’s top 20 media markets.


Similar deregulation plans were tried twice by the FCC under Bush, in 2003 and 2007, but both failed. Before moving to the White House, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, while serving in the U.S. Senate, opposed FCC rules permitting media giants to control newspapers, TV and radio all in the same big-city market.


But now the FCC is trying again, presumably with Obama’s blessing.


If the change goes through this time, Rupert Murdoch—owner of The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, Fox News Channel, Fox movie studios, and 27 local TV stations—may try to purchase The Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. Under current law, Murdoch can’t buy these newspapers because of other media assets he owns in LA and Chicago.


The new FCC rule could also benefit other media conglomerates, such as Comcast-NBC, Disney and Sinclair, that may be interested in expanding their holdings in major markets.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Why Is the Obama FCC Plotting a Massive Giveaway to Rupert Murdoch? (by Craig Aaron, Huffington Post)

FCC Grants Tribune Co. Waivers, Clears Way To End Bankruptcy (by Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times)


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