Media ownership to get a new review by the FCC
Published: July 6, 2006
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The Federal Communications Commission is trying to change media ownership rules again. The last time the FCC tried to make changes, in 2003, a federal court thwarted it a year later. Whether the FCC, under a new chairman, Kevin Martin, can craft a plan to withstand the likely court challenges is an open question. The U.S. bishops came out against the 2003 set of media ownership rules, which would have allowed for much greater consolidation of media, and cross-ownership of TV, radio and newspaper interests in the same city, under fewer owners. Michael Powell, the previous chairman, had been criticized for trying to push through the changes without listening to citizens, even after an estimated 1.5 million e-mails -- and scores of essays published in newspapers, magazines and Web sites -- criticized the FCC media consolidation efforts. This time, the FCC is allowing 120 days for public comment and has allocated $200,000 for studies on media competition, marketplace changes, local coverage, minority participation in media, children's programming, and how people get news. Martin said the FCC also was planning six public hearings around the country.
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