According to commission sources, FCC chairman Julius
Genachowski has circulated a media ownership order that loosens the newspaper/TV
cross-ownership ban in the top 20 markets and gets rid of the ban on radio/TV
cross-ownership and radio/newspaper cross-ownership.
The FCC will loosen the newspaper-TV cross-ownership ban by
finding that cross-ownerships in the top 20 markets are presumptively in the
public interest, along the lines of changes made by the FCC under former chairman Kevin Martin in 2007.
Broadcasters had been pushing the FCC to scrap the ban,
rather than just loosen it, and to provide some relief from local market
According to sources, the
FCC also circulated its ownership diversity report -- the so-called 323
report -- to the commissioners Tuesday. That report shows that minorities and
women are still underrepresented in the station ownership ranks and have not
made much headway in full-power TV station ownership in the past couple of
years, with Latinos and women making some headway, but African-Americans losing
Various minority groups had recently urged the commission
not to take any action on media ownership rule changes until it gauges their
impact on ownership diversity per a remand of various diversity initiatives by
the Third Circuit.