facebook linkedin twitter

FCC Asks Supreme Court to Allow TV Stations to Own Newspapers

April 27, 2020 by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON – The Federal Communications Commission is asking the Supreme Court to review media ownership rules to allow broadcast stations to own newspapers.

The FCC, along with the Justice Department, says the current regulations that prevent media companies from owning a newspaper and a broadcast station in the same market have become outdated by the Internet.

Newspaper subscriptions and ad revenue have declined steadily because of competition by the Internet and cable television. Some are close to bankruptcy and business closure.

Even the Washington Post struggled financially until Amazon chief executive Jeffrey Bezos purchased it in 2013 for $250 million in cash.

The FCC has petitioned federal courts previously to realign the interpretation of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which modified the Communications Act of 1934.

The updated Telecommunications Act was supposed to deregulate broadcast media to allow easier entry and spur competition in the communications business, the FCC argued.

However, all of the petitions for a new regulatory interpretation have failed as courts cling to the idea that too much media ownership by a single entity stifles the free flow of information.

A federal appellate court ruling last September also said the judges want proof the changes sought by the FCC would increase women and minority ownership of media enterprises.

The broadcasters say minority and women ownership is not the main issue behind the need for new rules. They accuse the court of overstepping its authority by imposing a misguided interpretation of the law.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in 2003 that cross-ownership between a broadcast station and a newspaper could give single media companies too much market dominance to protect free speech. Instead of easy access to information, consumers could get stuck with a limited perspective on the news, the federal courts ruled. 

“The effect of those decisions has been to maintain in effect decades-old FCC ownership restrictions that the agency believes to be outmoded,” last week’s FCC petition to the Supreme Court says.

U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco argues in his certiorari petition that the U.S. Circuit’s “rulings have saddled broadcast markets nationwide with outdated rules that the FCC has repeatedly concluded — and that the panel has acknowledged — are preventing struggling traditional outlets from entering transactions that would allow them to retain economic vitality.”

The National Association of Broadcasters supports a revision of the media ownership rules.

Media

November 29, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Bannon Accused of Trying to Orchestrate Trial by Media

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors on Sunday accused former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon of trying to defend against the criminal charges... Read More

WASHINGTON — Prosecutors on Sunday accused former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon of trying to defend against the criminal charges he faces through the media instead of federal court. They said in a court filing that Bannon wants to share witness statements with reporters in an... Read More

November 12, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Civil Rights Groups Seek Blacklist of Conservative One America News

WASHINGTON — Sixteen civil rights groups are asking telecommunications companies AT&T and DirecTV to cut business ties with conservative media... Read More

WASHINGTON — Sixteen civil rights groups are asking telecommunications companies AT&T and DirecTV to cut business ties with conservative media outlet One America News Network. The groups led by media advocacy group Free Press accuse One America of spreading anti-democratic disinformation, promoting COVID-19 conspiracy theories and... Read More

November 11, 2021
by Dan McCue
Dominion Voting Systems Files New Defamation Suit Against Fox News

GEORGETOWN, Del. — Dominion Voting Systems filed a new defamation lawsuit against Fox News Thursday, this one focusing on the... Read More

GEORGETOWN, Del. — Dominion Voting Systems filed a new defamation lawsuit against Fox News Thursday, this one focusing on the alleged roles of Fox Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch and his son, Fox CEO and Executive Chairman Lachlan Murdoch in falsely accusing the company of rigging the... Read More

October 29, 2021
by Dan McCue
Trump Wants Pulitzers Rescinded for Russia-Gate Reporting From Wapo, Times

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump wants the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind Pulitzers awarded to The Washington Post and... Read More

WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump wants the Pulitzer Prize Board to rescind Pulitzers awarded to The Washington Post and The New York Times in 2018 for their coverage of Russian interference into the 2016 presidential campaign. In bestowing the award, the Pulitzer Board said the... Read More

October 11, 2021
by Dan McCue
Americans’ Trust in Media Continues to Slide

WASHINGTON – Americans’ trust in the news media continues to plummet, dropping four percentage points from last year’s already low... Read More

WASHINGTON – Americans’ trust in the news media continues to plummet, dropping four percentage points from last year’s already low 36%, a new Gallup poll has found. The poll, which was released last week also found the media continues to be a decidedly politically polarizing issue... Read More

September 22, 2021
by Dan McCue
Bill Aimed at Saving Local Journalism Included in Reconciliation Package

WASHINGTON -- A key piece of a bipartisan proposal to sustain local journalism has passed through the House Ways and... Read More

WASHINGTON -- A key piece of a bipartisan proposal to sustain local journalism has passed through the House Ways and Means Committee and is now part of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package currently awaiting a vote in the full chamber. When it was proposed by... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top