FCC plan would set new voice counts

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Four separately owned commercial stations must remain in a market
post-combination in order to establish a TV duopoly under a plan submitted to
Federal Communications Commission members Monday, said a source following the
commission's drive to rewrite broadcast-ownership rules.

Currently, duopolies are permitted only in markets where eight separately
owned stations would remain.

Combos comprising a market's four top-rated stations would continue to be
prohibited. The new voice test would effectively permit duopolies in top-100
markets, it is believed.

To establish local broadcast/newspaper combos, six TV voices must remain
under the plan. At press time, it was uncertain whether noncommercial stations
would be included in the voice test for newspaper combos.

The five FCC commissioners will use the recommendations as the base of
negotiations for their vote on the final rule, scheduled for June


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For thousands of readers, for dozens of years, Donald V. West and BROADCASTING magazine were synonymous. He started at the magazine in 1953 and, except for a brief stint at CBS, has been here ever since, for many years as the magazine's editor. Now BROADCASTING & CABLE's editor at large, West looks back at the history this magazine witnessed, and his own role in the process.