Statement of Commissioner McDowell on Tribune Order.
Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.
See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:
November 16, 2012
Erin McGrath (202) 418-2042
STATEMENT OF FCC COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. McDOWELL
ON THE MEDIA BUREAU ORDER GRANTING THE TRIBUNE APPLICATIONS
AND WAIVERS OF THE NEWSPAPER-BROADCAST CROSS-OWNERSHIP RULEThe following statement can be attributed to Commissioner Robert M. McDowell:
“I am pleased that the long-standing Tribune matter is moving forward. The Media Bureau is
correct to reinstate Tribune’s waivers of the obsolete newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban.
The outdated ban itself should be eliminated because the record indicates that it is likely
undermining the public interest on several levels. Furthermore, the ban is more than likely an
unconstitutional limitation on speech by restricting speakers’ access only to those platforms
favored by the government. If this encroachment on First Amendment rights ever made sense in
1975 when it was codified, it no longer does in the face of today’s highly competitive, dynamic
and fragmented media marketplace. Accordingly, no rules should exist to which waivers need to
be granted. In that spirit, while such rules still reside on our books, the Commission should grant
waivers permanently and not in miniscule one-year segments that require speakers to crawl back
to the government for permission to speak. I look forward to working further with my
colleagues on this important matter in the recently circulated media ownership order.”
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