More time sought for media-ownership review

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Consumer groups and media labor unions want to slow down the Federal
Communications Commission's effort to rewrite broadcast-ownership rules.

The Newspaper Guild, Communications Workers of America, the American
Federation of Television and Radio Artists, the Consumer Federation of America and the Center
for Digital Democracy were among the groups asking the FCC to extend deadlines
for comment and replies to proposed rule changes by at least three months.

"This proceeding will affect every citizen and resident of the United
States," the groups said in a request filed Wednesday. "More time will ideally
help the public better understand the issues, find the resources to file and
engage in the broad civic dialogue about media ownership this proceeding
requires."

Under current FCC deadlines, comments are due Dec. 2; replies Jan. 2. FCC
chairman Michael Powell has said he hopes to bring proposed changes to a vote by
spring.

Wednesday's request would change the deadlines to April and June at the
earliest. The groups noted that the FCC required almost one year after formation
of its Media Ownership Task Force to commission and publish key research on
media ownership.

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