Newspaper Guild: Keep Media Cross-Ownership Ban

By: E&P Staff

The Newspaper Guild is urging the Federal Communications Commission not to relax its rules limiting same-market common ownership of a newspaper and broadcast property.

Loosening the 35-year cross-ownership rules will only lead to more consolidation, the Guild argues in a joint submission to the FCC with the  National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians (NABET). And consolidation, the CWA-affiliated unions argue, is at odds with the aim of the FCC’s quadrennial review of media ownership rules, which is  to promote media diversity, competition and localism.

The submission quotes testimony Guild President Bernie Lunzer gave at a FCC workshop in April. “Most consolidations are being done for efficiencies and that means less content, fewer journalists and less diversity in both content and staff,” Lunzer said.

If the FCC ends the cross-ownership ban, he said at the time, “it will have done nothing to preserve or promote quality information — in fact, it will speed up the demise of journalism while preserving a cash flow for some.”

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