FCC Approves Media Consolidation Plan On 3-2 Party Line Vote

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)


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  1. ptkdude says:

    So if this was just passed today, why does Cox own both the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and TV station WSB in Atlanta?

  2. HRHKingFriday says:

    Sad. Just Sad.

  3. JustAGuy2 says:


    Some waivers grandfathered in already (Cox in Atlanta, Tribune in Chicago, etc.).

  4. ancientsociety says:

    Awesome! Always good to remember who our (s)elected officials work for. “Gov’t by and for our corporate overlords…”

  5. sickofthis says:

    We can’t get these assclowns out of office fast enough.

  6. SpdRacer says:

    Too many opinions make it harder to be told what to think, this is good for those who can’t form an opinion on their own, it just narrows the opinions from which they have to choose.

  7. edebaby says:

    Please explain to me why it’s a bad idea to allow a company to own a newspaper and a television station in the same market? Particularly in markets like Los Angeles, New York, or Chicago.

  8. ancientsociety says:

    @edebaby: Less news outlets = less places to get info, easier ability for media/corporations/gov’t to control/disseminate info/propaganda, less opportunity for small local news to be covered, less opportunity for dissenting opinions, less opportunity for small/local businesses to secure advertising

  9. vastrightwing says:

    This will be just like the writers strike: it won’t make a heck of a lot of difference. I will continue to get my news from independent sources on the internet. Big media is already dead. Let them consolidate into one big dead tree.

  10. cef21 says:

    @ancientsociety: Do you really have a dearth of places to get your news from? The regulation comes from an era where there were three TV stations and one newspaper in most cities. In my town, there are 8 cable TV stations that cover local events, two daily newspapers (one from a neighboring town), 3 weekly papers (2 from nearby towns, one covering the entire area), one monthly paper and about two dozen regularly updated blogs covering events of local importance, from all different sides.

  11. ancientsociety says:

    @cef21: It’s not about “how many” news outlets are available per town/city, it’s about who can control those outlets.

    Also, just because you live in a large city w/ access to cable tv and internet, does not mean that everyone in this country has the same media availability.

  12. smitty1123 says:

    @ancientsociety: How does a corp owning multiple outlets translate into less outlets? Corps are big and stupid, but they are smart enough to realize that if they own X newspaper and Y newspaper, and both newspapers are successful (but vastly different editorially), it’s just not profitable to turn Y into X2.

  13. cef21 says:

    @ancientsociety: First of all, the FCC is only relaxing the rules on the 20 largest media outlets. I don’t really care if the local communist owns one of the local “broadcast” stations and the newspaper — if I want to avoid his propaganda, there are a gazillion other sources I can go to for news and programming. That may not be quite as true in, say, Tallahassee as it is in NYC or DC, but Tallahassee isn’t affected by the decision.

  14. goodkitty says:

    @vastrightwing: How long do you think we have before ISP’s start being required to block access to those kinds of sites? It’s only a matter of time before either ‘network availability’ or ‘protecting the children’ make it a reality.