Powell: Media-ownership deadline stays

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Responding to a half-dozen letters from Capitol Hill, Federal Communications
Commission chairman Michael Powell said he plans to stick to a June 2 target for
approving new media-ownership rules, and he won't seek public comment on the
specific changes prior to the commission's vote.

Powell said there is no reason to expose the already tardy 2002 biennial
review to further delay.

"If I were convinced that the record was deficient, or that any proposed course
required additional comment, I would not hesitate to seek it," he said in a
letter to leaders of the Senate Commerce Committee and other lawmakers who
voiced opinions both for and against the June 2 date.

As for calls by some to seek comment on specific changes, Powell said the
need for timeliness outweighs the possible merit a new comment period might
have.

"We do nothing radical by declining the invitation," he wrote. "In my
five-and-a-half years at the commission, I do not recall a single instance in
which such a process was pursued."

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