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FCC: Let's Re-Think UHF Rule

Washington—The FCC is having second thoughts about counting UHF stations at half their audience reach in tallying station groups' compliance with the national ownership cap. Friday, the commission asked for industry and public comment. Supporters say Congress endorsed the idea in January when it set the cap at 39% of TV homes without altering the discount. Media Access Project and Capitol Broadcasting have asked the FCC to reverse its June 2 decision to retain the discount, because cable carriage rights long ago erased its purpose.

Reality Gets an Emmy Category

Los Angeles—The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has tweaked its Emmy rules so that reality programs with a competition element will be considered in a separate category. Last year, such shows were in a "special class" lumping American Idol, Survivor, and Amazing Race
with specials AFI's 100 Years … 100 Passions: America's Greatest Love Stories
and 100 Years ofHope and Humor. CBS's Amazing Race
won, but industry observers thought the hybrid category wasn't the best way to approach prime time reality shows. Other rule changes also modify nominating and voting procedures, said ATAS Chairman and CEO Dick Askin. The 56th Annual Primetime Emmy nominations will be announced July 15; the awards will be broadcast on ABC Sept. 19.

FCC Says OK to More Radio

Washington—Congress should allow many more low-power FM stations, especially in major metro markets, the FCC said Friday. In a move sure to ignite the ire of commercial broadcasters, FCC endorsed a study showing no harmful interference would be created if a current law banning LPFM stations within two channels stops of an existing full-power station was eliminated. "There appears to be no public-interest reason to retain third-adjacent minimum distance separation requirements," the FCC said in a report to Congress.

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