As of Friday night, 168,134 comments had been filed in the FCC's media ownership review, with more to come before the end of the day Monday, Oc. 23, which marks the end of the initial comment period.
While the vast majority of the comments appeared to be form e-mail complaints from members of anti-media actvist groups warning of further consolidation, the most recent comment at press time--6 a.m. Monday morning--the same complaint filed in both of the two dockets open for comment--was actually in support of total deregulation.
"The airwaves no longer have a monopoly on the delivery of mass media," it read. "The FCC originally regulated these as a public recource. But now that cable provides a superior alternative and anyone can disseminate content via the internet, this regulation is unneeded...Please consider ending FCC regulation of all media."
There will be more opportunity for comment through the beginning of December, and beyond as the commission tries to recraft generally deregulatory rule changes remanded by a federal appeals court in 2004.
The rules would permit the ownership or TV stations and newspapers in the same market and allow multiple station ownership in smaller markets, as well as tightening some radio rules.