FCC's O'Rielly Prods Commission To Review, Loosen Ownership Rules
June 7, 2016 at 3:58 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner MIKE O'RIELLY has weighed in again on the FCC's difficulty in reviewing its own media ownership rules, posting an article to the Commission's blog offering his list of "principles" that he believes should be used if and when the Commission completes its Quadrennial Review under pressure from the U.S. Court of Appeals.
First ripping his fellow Commissioners for approving an "illegitimate ban on JSAs two years ago" and "flying in the face of clear Congressional directives and reality itself," O'RIELLY focuses on the Commission's refusal to consider changes in the marketplace in his analysis, saying that in light of the invasion of social media into news content and the need for news providers to create content for many platforms, broadcasters and newspapers "should be set free to compete on equal footing with all of their fellow content providers, not kept on an unnecessary and unfair regulatory leash."
The principles include reasonably defining markets, with the allegation that "In the 2014 Quadrennial Review FNPRM, the Commission shockingly refused to acknowledge any non-broadcast or non-newspaper competitors as market participants. Think about how misguided that is"; the elimination of cross-ownership bans to allow newspapers and broadcast stations to offer material across all platforms; eliminating the TV duopoly rule and the "eight voices test"; providing more waivers and grandfathering, at a minimum, if the rules are retained; not reinstating the JSA ban; and resisting the additional restrictions proposed by public advocacy groups.