FCC Moves to Lift Freeze

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The Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau moved quickly Wednesday to lift the freeze on station-transfer
applications it had imposed following a court stay of the new FCC rules that were to guide those applications.

It has decided instead to process them under the old rules currently in
effect and using the old forms.

As a housekeeping measure, it must first publish something in the Federal
Register
, which it will try to do within the next several days, at which point
it will be business as "used to be usual," at least for the time being.

The news will be particularly pleasing to media brokers, who wrote FCC
chairman Michael Powell Wednesday citing various hardship cases, including a sick man
who needs the money for health care, an African American on the verge of losing
his financing and the Salvation Army and the needy families deprived of their
aid.

All of these were the potential victims of the FCC's continued freeze on station
transfers, wrote Larry Patrick, president of the National Association of Media
Brokers.

Patrick outlined those and other scenarios and asked the FCC to lift the
freeze, which was reimposed after the court stay of the FCC's new
media-ownership rules.

He cited those and other examples of station buyers and sellers "caused
severe hardship" by the stoppage.

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