Not all newspapers are for removing the ban on newspaper-broadcast crossownerhip, or even loosening it as the FCC has proposed upholding.While the Newspaper Association of America has long advocated for scrapping the ban, and did again in comments this week to the FCC. The NAA says allowing crossownerhip leads to better and more news and is in the public interest. The Association of Free Community Newspapers is diametrically opposed to that position.
In its comments to the FCC, that association, representing papers from Florida to New York, Texas to Ohio, said that lifitng or loosening the ban would be “dismantling safeguards” and unleashing a competition-strangling wave of unprecedented corss-media consolidation.
Aligning themselves with Guttenberg (who did not file comments, being dead), they said that the free community newspaper industry “competes with the proponents of cross-media consolidation every day…embracing
free and fair competition as modern day Town Criers, often from the short end of the stick.”
The FCC has proposed reinstating the 2008 decision to loosen the cross-ownership ban in the top 20 markets–a rebuttable presumption they are in the public interest, and even provide a path for crossownership in smaller markets, but with the rebuttable presumption they are not in the public interest.