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Media Institute Urges FCC To Ease Restrictions on Radio Station Ownership and To Repeal Outdated Newspaper/Broadcast Cross Ownership Ban
FOR RELEASE: October 19, 2006
Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute
Arlington, Va., Oct. 19, 2006 - The Media Institute filed comments today with the Federal Communications Commission urging the FCC to ease restrictions to allow some further consolidation of radio ownership in local markets, and to repeal the newspaper/broadcast cross ownership ban.
The Institute said the Commission's current rules are placing broadcast radio, television, and newspapers at a competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis new media and technologies at a time when the traditional media are struggling to compete.
The current numerical caps on local radio station ownership are 10 years old. The ban on newspaper/broadcast combinations dates to 1975, prior to the media revolutions spawned by cable, satellite, and later the Internet.
The Institute filed its comments in conjunction with the FCC's wide-ranging review of its broadcast ownership rules, a proceeding that now encompasses five separate dockets stretching back to 2000.
The Institute's comments were in the form of an issue paper it published this year titled "Media Consolidation, Regulation, and the Road Ahead." The paper is available online at http://www.mediainstitute.org/issue_papers/.
The Clear Channel radio spot can be downloaded from the National Freedom of Speech Week website at www.freespeechweek.org.
The comments endorse a proposal for raising the local radio ownership cap from eight to 10 stations in the nine markets with at least 60 stations, and to 12 stations in the seven markets with at least 75 stations. The comments also urge an outright repeal of the newspaper/broadcast cross ownership rule.
"Policymakers need to foster a more robust economic climate by easing restrictions that apply solely to the old media," the Institute concluded.
Information about The Media Institute can be found at www.mediainstitute.org.