Broadcast-ownership revisions due spring 2003


The Federal Communications Commission will revamp all of its
broadcast-ownership rules in one broad rulemaking to be completed in the spring
of 2003, a senior agency official said Monday.

FCC Media Bureau chief Ken Ferree said chairman Michael Powell has decided to
tackle all broadcast-ownership rules at once because they share the same goal:
ensuring diversity and competition in radio and television.

"These rules are all kissing cousins in some sense," he said during a press

Seven broadcast-ownership regulations are targeted for revision:

\u0007 The 30 percent cap on one company's national TV-household reach.

\u0007 Limits on owning two TV stations in a market.

\u0007 Local newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership.

\u0007 Concentration in local radio markets.

\u0007 Local/TV radio cross-ownership.

\u0007 Dual network ownership.

\u0007 Local cable/broadcast cross-ownership.

The rulemakings were instigated after federal judges in a string of cases
found that the FCC has failed to adequately justify its restrictions.

To comply, the agency has embarked on a series of market studies to provide
economic foundation for new rules.

Separately, the FCC plans to issue new limits on cable conglomerates'
national subscribership shares and restrictions on the number of channels their
local franchises may devote to programming networks they own by the end of