House Judiciary Committee Postpones Media-Ownership and Diversity Hearing

Dan Rather Was Set to Testify Wednesday

Dan Rather won't be weighing in on media diversity and localism after all, at least not Wednesday.

The House Judiciary Committee postponed a planned hearing on media ownership and diversity, with Rather the highest-profile witness on the list.

The committee gave no reason, although a staffer said it could be rescheduled for as early as next week or, more likely, sometime in early January.

If Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin has his way, by early January, the FCC will be done with the media-ownership review, having voted to loosen the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules and adopted a host of items he said will help minority and women broadcasters.

He plans to vote those items Dec. 18 unless congressional Democrats -- led by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) -- can block or persuade him to postpone that vote.

Martin and his fellow commissioners are still scheduled to appear before the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday.