The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission yesterday proposed relaxing an agency rule to allow big-city newspapers to buy the smaller television stations in their markets, a move designed as a compromise in the ongoing issue of corporate control of the airwaves.
The proposal put forward by Chairman Kevin J. Martin appeared to please almost no one -- the newspaper industry said it stopped short of helping the ailing print media and anti-consolidation groups said it went too far, with one calling it "yet another massive giveaway to big media."
Under Martin's plan, set for a commission vote Dec. 18, newspapers in the nation's 20-largest media markets could buy one radio or television station in their cities, if certain conditions apply. The station could not be among the four most-watched in the market, essentially preventing newspapers from buying popular stations affiliated with ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox.
The proposal would partially lift a 35-year-old ban on the "cross-ownership" of newspapers and broadcast stations. Although Martin's plan would not automatically ban cross-ownership in the nation's smaller 190 media markets, it is unlikely such purchases would be approved by the FCC, he said.
Friday, November 16, 2007
Keeping the corporate media corporate!