The Federal Communications Commission just approved Chairman Kevin Martin’s plan to shred 32-year-old rules that block media conglomerates from controlling both a newspaper and a broadcast station in the same market. The spectacled Chairman won on 3-2 party line vote, having failed to lure either Democratic commissioner with last-minute changes that will prevent the Commission from approving mergers in small media outlets that host profitable papers.
Don’t wave goodbye to diversity in the media just yet. Lawsuit-wielding advocacy groups will try to repeat the judicial slap-fest that followed the last FCC attempt to pass media consolidation in 2003. Congress is also looking to override the FCC, but the White House—big lovers of big media—has already issued a preemptory veto threat.
FCC Backs Martin’s Plan Easing Media Cross-Ownership [Bloomberg]
FCC chief to adjust plan on media ownership rules [USA Today]
(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)