FCC Member Wants Newspaper-TV Rule Relaxed

By: Todd Shields

The Federal Communications Commission should at least relax the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule, FCC Commissioner Kevin J. Martin said Thursday.

Martin, a Republican, has long argued that the FCC should decide the fate of the 1975 rule that bars common ownership of a daily newspaper and a broadcast station in the same media market. On Thursday, he said at an FCC forum here, the agency should let newspaper owners buy broadcast stations “so long as a number of independent voices remain in the marketplace.” He offered no specifics.

The Newspaper Association of America, which represents major dailies, wants the regulation to be abolished. Defenders of the rule say it must be retained to preserve diverse voices. The rule is one of six major broadcast ownership regulations under review at the FCC.

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