FCC mulls New York Post options

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The five FCC commissioners Wednesday were presented with a range of options that would allow News Corp. to keep the New York Post after the media giant's Fox Television adds a second TV station to its Big Apple holdings.

The move is controversial because News Corp. already has a waiver allowing it to own WNYW-TV and consumer groups said the waiver should not be expanded to allow a TV duopoly. The issue is raised as part of the Fox station group's purchase of the 10 outlets owned by Chris-Craft, which must win FCC approval. The two primary options proposed by the FCC's mass media bureau for settling the debate: either condition the Post's fate on the outcome of the FCC's planned review of the newspaper/cross-ownership ban or setting a firm date for divesting the Post regardless of the rulemaking.

The FCC was scheduled to launch the cross-ownership review Thursday, but the proceeding likely will be delayed until new commissioners are sworn in this summer. Delay of the broader rulemaking isn't expected to stall the Chris-Craft merger review. - Bill McConnell

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