Senate Committee Delays Vote On Cross-Ownership Bill
April 2, 2008 at 5:31 AM (PT)
The SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE has delayed the vote on Sen. BYRON DORGAN's bill to block the FCC's media cross-ownership rule changes from taking effect. The bill was scheduled for markup TODAY (4/2) but was put off until APRIL 24.
Earlier, in a letter to SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE Chairman DANIEL INOUYE (D-HI), Commerce Secretary CARLOS GUTIERREZ said that he and senior advisers have advised President BUSH to veto the bill if it passes both Houses, according to BROADCASTING AND CABLE magazine. The magazine says that the letter says that the administration "strongly opposes any attempt to overturn these rules by legislative means."
B&C quotes GUTIERREZ as telling INOUYE that the FCC move "modernizes outdated media-ownership regulations to appropriately take into account the plethora of news and information outlets that exist today. To overturn this action and require the federal government to reassert regulatory constraints on business decisions in a competitive media marketplace would exacerbate newspaper and broadcast financial challenges and, thus, not be in the public interest."