FCC Media Ownership Rules at a Glance

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By: The Associated Press

(AP) The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is deciding whether to change some of its rules that place restrictions on the ownership of radio and TV stations. In reviewing the rules, adopted between 1941 and 1975, the FCC’s objective is to promote diversity, localism, and competition in the broadcast media. Here are the rules and the years in which they initially were adopted:

* Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership prohibition (1975) forbids a company from owning a full-service radio or TV station and a daily newspaper in the same city.

* Local Radio Ownership Rule (1941) limits the number of commercial radio stations one company may own, operate, or control in a single market, based on how many stations the market has.

* National TV Ownership Rule (1941) prohibits a company from owning TV stations that would reach more than 35% of U.S. television households.

* Local TV Multiple Ownership Rule (1964) limits a company to owning no more than two TV stations in the same market, as long as one station is not among the highest four ranked stations in the area and provided the market still has at least eight other independently owned TV stations remaining.

* Radio/TV Cross-Ownership Restriction (1970) limits the number of radio and TV stations one company may own in the same market.

* Dual Television Network Rule (1946) prohibits a merger between or among the four major TV networks, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox.

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