(The New York Times) The Federal Communications Commission is preparing to relax a longstanding rule that limits the ability of companies to own both a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same local market.
The proposal, which was challenged in court the last time it came up, was the most contentious piece of an updating of the nation’s media ownership rules. Congress requires the F.C.C. to review the rules every four years.
Public interest groups and a departing member of the commission, Michael J. Copps, expressed concerns that the newspaper-broadcast rule change could cause more consolidation in the media industry, in which round after round of stations have been sold to bigger companies.
“In the vast majority of cases, I do not believe that newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership advances the public interest,” Mr. Copps, a Democrat, said in a statement. “It means fewer voices in the community, less localism in the industry and steep transactional costs that all too often lead to down-sized or shuttered newsrooms and fired journalists. Our media, and our public policy, need to head in a different direction.”
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