"Accordingly, it is my hope that this most recent pause in our progress on this front is our last," McDowell said.
Genachowski issued a proposal at the end of last year that would loosen certain media ownership restrictions, but the proposal sparked an outcry from liberal lawmakers, who warned it could limit access to diverse media voices. The two Republican FCC commissioners argued the proposal didn't go far enough to scrap outdated regulations.
Genachowski's proposal would relax regulations that prohibit a single company from owning a TV broadcast station and a newspaper in a single top market. The proposal would strengthen rules on consolidation in smaller markets. The order would also eliminate bans on newspaper-radio and TV-radio cross-ownership.
The FCC is required to review its media ownership rules every four years. The last review was completed in 2008.
In an email, a senior commission official said that waiting for the study "is a strategy to move towards a successful vote and strengthen the commission’s position in court.”