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Chairman's Statement on the Status of Media Ownership Proceeding

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Released: February 26, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th Street, S.W.


Washington, D. C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

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).



February 26, 2013
Justin Cole, 202-418-8191



In light of proposal by the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council to conduct new

independent study
Washington, D.C. – The following statement is attributable to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski:
“Yesterday, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council informed the Commission that
it will conduct a focused, independent study on the effects of cross-ownership rules on minority
ownership and newsgathering, in order to enhance the record in the Commission’s proceeding. The study
is expected to take several weeks and will be filed with the Commission, after which MMTC suggests
that the agency solicit public input, to be followed by a Commission vote. In this heavily-litigated area
where a strong record is particularly important, I believe this is a sensible approach to moving forward
and resolving the issues raised in this proceeding.
As the Commission considers the issues before it, a few goals are particularly important:
guarding against excessive media consolidation, promoting ownership diversity, enabling robust local
news for all communities, and fostering economic growth and opportunity. The growth of the Internet is
changing the media landscape, including the economics of local newspapers and broadcasters. At the
same time, while broadband adoption is increasing, tens of millions of Americans do not yet have ready
access to news and other content available on the Internet, and changes in ownership rules may have
different effects on those with or without Internet access.
With this in mind, earlier in the Commission’s quadrennial review of its broadcast ownership
rules, I circulated a draft order for my colleagues' consideration that would primarily preserve existing
ownership rules while proposing steps to promote media diversity and modest reforms that could help
strengthen local journalism. I proposed to (1) keep the bulk of existing broadcast ownership rules in place,
including the rules limiting the number of TV and radio stations that can be co-owned in any market, and
the rules prohibiting ownership of more than one major broadcast network; (2) provide various diversity-
promoting broadcast opportunities for small businesses and proceed with studies to determine whether
additional measures can be taken in the next quadrennial review to promote minority ownership; (3)
retain the rule prohibiting TV-newspaper combinations, while providing greater transparency and
predictability on waivers, in a way that would strengthen the bar against major TV station-newspaper
combinations, and reduce the bar to smaller TV station-newspaper combinations in the top 20 markets;
and (4) remove the bar on cross-ownership of radio stations and newspapers. Circulation of the proposed
order has led to healthy discussions among Commissioners and stakeholders about the substance of the
issues and the state of the record before the agency. The study announced yesterday addresses an issue of

importance, will augment the record, and will assist the Commission in resolving the issues before it on
the full record.
In addition, a broad coalition of stakeholders has asked the Commission to clarify that foreign
investment above 25 percent in broadcast stations could be in the public interest in particular cases.
Today, the FCC’s Media Bureau is issuing a Public Notice seeking comment on this issue.”

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