Washington

MMTC: Diversity Impact Doesn't Justify Retaining Cross-Ownership Rule

But tells FCC 'especially extensive' combo could be detrimental to minority and women ownership 7/23/2013 09:32:42 AM Eastern

Commenting on its own diversity study, the Minority Media and
Telecommunications Council told the FCC in comments on Tuesday that it should
use the study as one piece of evidence -- though not dispositive -- that the
newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership or other cross-ownership rules are not
"sufficiently material" to justify tightening or retaining the rules.

The FCC under chairman Julius Genachowski -- and Republican chairman
Kevin Martin before him -- had
proposed
loosening the newspaper/TV cross-ownership rules and getting rid
of the radio/TV and radio/newspaper cross-ownership rules altogether.

The study did identify one market in which the three
respondents said cross-media interests had a competitive impact, so MMTC
provided this caveat about "singleton" stations, which are more
likely to be minority or women owned than other stations. "We recommend
that the Commission be alert to the possibility that a cross-media combination,
with strong newspaper, television and radio outlets in a medium (or small)
market, can have sufficient market power to operate as a material detriment to
minority and women ownership," MMTC said.

The FCC is collecting and vetting comments on
that study before it proceeds with deciding whether and how to modify its media
ownership rules.

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