According to multiple reports, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai told a House Communications Subcommittee today that the Commission will vote on overhauling the media cross-ownership rules in November. The restrictions on owning newspapers and broadcasters (TV and radio) have been debated for years, with occasional calls to eliminate the rules. The vote would take place at the FCC’s open hearing on November 16.
NAB EVP of Communications Dennis Wharton released a statement saying, “NAB strongly supports Chairman’s Pai plan for modernizing broadcast media ownership rules. For 40 years, policymakers and the courts have blessed countless mega-mergers among national telco, cable and satellite program giants, while at the same time blocking broadcast/newspaper or radio/TV combinations in single markets.”
“This nonsensical regulatory approach has harmed the economic underpinning of newspapers, reduced local journalism jobs, and punished free and local broadcasters at the expense of our pay TV and radio competitors. We look forward to rational media ownership rules that foster a bright future for broadcasters and our tens of millions of listeners and viewers.”