With at least two weeks of lobbying left before the Federal Communications
Commission goes into a weeklong "silent period" of deliberation on
media-ownership rules, the commissioners are getting pressured to make changes.
The National Association of Broadcasters -- concerned that a plan to allow TV
duopolies in markets where four separately owned stations would remain doesn't
ensure profitability of small-market stations -- urged the FCC to instead use an
audience-share test that would allow pairs in any market where a station is
struggling with low ratings.
Reps. John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.) have called on the FCC to retain the 35
percent cap and to eliminate the UHF discount, which tallies every household
reached by a UHF at one-half.
The result allows two UHF stations to count as one for purposes of tallying a
company's national TV-household reach.