National Association Of Media Brokers Tells FCC To Drop Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-Ownership Restrictions
May 20, 2014 at 4:31 AM (PT)
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MEDIA BROKERS (NAMB) has filed a letter reflecting ex parte communications with the FCC, commenting in the Commission’s 2014 quadrennial ownership rules review and urging the Commission to eliminate the current newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership restrictions for both radio and television without any changes in current broadcast ownership limits.
The letter, signed by NAMB President GLENN M. SERAFIN, told the Commission, “History shows that much of the broadcast industry was birthed by newspapers, which proved to be admirable stewards of the public trust. Specialization and regulation over the years has, to a large extent, separated ownership of the two. However, allowing newspaper/broadcast combinations in today’s marketplace, where there are so many choices for reading, viewing and listening, can only strengthen local content and public service.
“This recommendation is not made for the purpose of increasing our business or to rescue newspapers or AM radio stations. Frankly, we believe eliminating newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership restrictions would not generate a significant wave of such transactions. It would, however, be a step forward to enhancing public service without any meaningful impact on diversity. At first you might believe this would be a path mostly for newspapers to invest in broadcast stations, but the reverse also can be expected, especially in smaller markets.”