NASA: FCC news conclusions all wet


The Network Affiliated Stations Alliance -- which vowed Friday to continue
to fight for the 35% cap -- didn’t waste any time.

NASA sent a letter to a quartet of legislators Monday, including Sen.
Ernest Hollings (D-S.C.), with ammunition in those legislators’ fight to restore
the 35% audience-reach cap on TV-station ownership.

NASA has vowed to continue to push for the cap even though the National
Association of Broadcasters has chosen to back off for fear that those bills
cannot be kept free of reregulatory amendments that many members oppose.

The letter pointed to "glaring errors" in the FCC’s decision to raise the cap
to 45%, including the agency’s conclusion that "local news on network-owned
stations appears to be of higher quality than news on affiliate stations."

Instead, NASA said, "the weight of the evidence shows the reverse of what the
FCC concluded -- the affiliates outperform network-owned stations in terms of
news quality."

NASA opined that the commission "failed to make a single reference to the several
NASA/NAB submissions and economic analyses on news quality," and "utterly
ignored" an error in its staff study.