Gov't FCC Move No Big Surprise to NAA

By: Jennifer Saba Thursday's announcement that the Justice Department and Federal Communications Commission will not appeal a federal court ruliing throwing out the FCC's relaxed media-ownership rules wasn't exactly a bombshell, at least to those in the newspaper industry.

"We were not surprised," John Sturm, CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, told E&P.

The announcement that the government won't appeal means the FCC needs to rewrite new guidelines -- except that media companies now plan to appeal to the Supreme Court, hoping the justices will affirm the less restrictive regulations.

The Supreme Court is expected to announce by April whether it will hear the appeal.

Sturm said that the NAA would file a petition on Monday arguing that the Philadelphia court improperly substituted its judgment's for the FCC's.

If the Supreme Court decides not to hear the case, the appeals court ruling stands and the FCC will have to rewrite its guidelines on cross-ownership. "It's not the end of the world," said Sturm.


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