Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Court of Appeals lifts stay on FCC cross-ownership rules prohibiting media companies from owning newspaper and broadcast TV stations in the same market

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has lifted the stay on the Federal Communications Commission's cross-ownership rules that prohibited media companies from owning a newspaper and a television station in the same market.

FCC under Chairman Julius Genachowski had asked that the rules continue to be frozen as the FCC was in the process of reviewing the regulations, but the court decided to lift the ban.

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said "I am pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has decided to move forward promptly with its review of the Commission's 2007 media ownership decision -- and to lift the stay that until today has frozen in place burdensome ownership rules that are many years out of date.”

The court will now proceed with hearing the case which was brought by CBS, Belo, Media General and Gannett. In the meantime, the FCC will continue with its 2010 quadrennial review of the media ownership rules. The commission plans to hold a workshop in at the University of South Florida in Tampa on April 20 to hear public comments concerning media ownership.