FCC votes to keep media ownership rules: report

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is keeping its media ownership rules that stop an entity from owning both a broadcast station and a newspaper in the same location, Reuters reported on Wednesday night.

An FCC spokesperson confirmed that all five commissioners had voted on the media ownership item and that it had been approved. He declined to provide details on the final item because it has yet to be released.

{mosads}FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed in June that the commission keep the rule against cross-ownership of broadcast and print outlets in the same local market. The current rule doesn’t affect cross-ownership that existed before it went into effect.

The commission said its proposal, however, “modestly relaxes the rule by providing an exception for failed or failing entities and states that the Commission will consider waivers.”

The rules are opposed by the ailing newspaper industry and the broadcasters lobby, who say the restrictions are outdated.

Republicans have pushed for looser restrictions as well. Both Republican commissioners were seen as having misgivings about the proposal to keep the rules in place.

The proposal also largely kept other existing ownership limitations in place. Different restrictions govern the ownership of multiple television and radio stations in a single market.

The final vote this week comes after a July report from Broadcasting and Cable that Wheeler and the two other Democratic commissioners had already voted on the item. Under the commission’s rules, an item can still be edited even after the majority votes on it.


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