Report: FCC Votes To Retain Cross-Ownership Ban
August 11, 2016 at 10:32 AM (PT)
REUTERS is reporting that the FCC has voted to retain its ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership.
The news wire reports that the panel voted 3-2 along party lines to retain the existing rules, which have been criticized by industry figures and the Republican minority at the Commission as outdated and not reflecting radical marketplace changes that have left newspapers in financial peril. The rules circulated to the Commissioners reportedly included WHEELER's proposal to allow waivers for newspapers or stations determined to qualify as "failing."
NAB Executive Vice President of Communications DENNIS WHARTON reacted to the news with a statement reading, “NAB strongly disagrees with the FCC’s decision to cling to long-outdated media ownership rules that no longer serve their purpose. For an agency that claims to be forward-thinking and focused on the future, when it comes to broadcasting, the FCC still applies analog regulation in the digital age. Most egregious is the Commission’s failure to remove its cross-ownership rules. The FCC’s greatest accomplishment with its latest order is to further hasten the great decline of our nation’s newspapers and the quality of journalism as a whole.”
The vote came at the same time as the Commission was dealt a major defeat in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the panel had overreached in trying to strike down a NORTH CAROLINA law banning municipal ownership of broadband systems.