FCC May Rewrite Ownership Rules Individually

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By: Todd Shields

(Mediaweek) The Federal Communications Commission may try to rewrite beleaguered media-ownership rules individually rather than in a group, FCC Chairman Michael Powell said in a published interview.

Powell’s comments, which appeared in Tuesday editions of The Washington Post, came in response to last week’s decision by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which told the FCC to rewrite the regulations. The rules, which the FCC approved last year, remain on hold in the meantime.

The FCC under Powell considered together rules governing common ownership of communities’ broadcast stations, daily newspapers and radio stations.

“Bringing them together as a unified whole was a good instinct and idea,” Powell told the Post. “At the end of the day, it’s worth some consideration as to whether they should be rolled up like that. It’s hard to manage and very complex, maybe it works better to take them individually, and that’s one of the things I would consider going forward.”

“The court wants more explanation for the lines we drew,” Powell said. “Yes, we failed to convince them on the first try. But we were not way out of whack the way people portrayed it.”

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