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FCC to vote on eliminating cross-ownership limits on media in same markets

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Posted at 3:24 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 15:29:50-04

FCC Chairman Agit Pai says there will soon be a vote to eliminate cross-ownership limits on TV and newspapers in same markets.

Pai and FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr testified to Congress on Wednesday. Carr said there needs to be less red tape in order to make changes that will push a more skilled workforce and focus on spectrum. He said the FCC is also focused on 5G, which requires a big investment.

Radio-television cross-ownership limits would also cease if the vote passes.

The government reviews media ownership rules every four years "to determine whether the rules are in the public interest and to repeal or modify any regulation it determines does not meet this criteria," the FCC website says.

The vote on media cross-ownership limits, spurred by a petition filed by the National Association of Broadcasters last year, will happen in mid-November. If it passes, the move will be a win for newspaper companies and broadcasters seeking to consolidate.

Cross-ownership was banned by the FCC in 1975 unless a waiver was issued. The rule sought to ensure diversity in opinions.

The FCC has also eliminated the requirement that a media outlet must have a studio in the area it covers. This is to reduce financial burden and costs for broadcasters, and recognizes a modern media landscape, Pai said.

More: FCC's Review of the Broadcast Ownership Rules (FCC.gov)

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