Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell is aiming to bring
two of the media industry's most controversial and long-running public-policy
fights down the home stretch.
A massive rulemaking on broadcast-ownership limits is set to be teed off at
the commission's Sept. 12 meeting.
On the docket will be a call for suggested changes to rules limiting national
broadcast ownership, cross-ownership of local radio and TV stations, TV
duopolies and dual TV-network ownership.
Consolidated into that rulemaking will be previously launched proceedings on
local broadcast/TV cross-ownership and local radio concentration.
Less certain is Powell's effort to settle disputes between broadcasters and
the cable industry over must-carry rules in the digital age.
Industry sources speculated that the FCC would seek input on requiring cable
systems to carry stations' entire 6-megahertz digital stream, including
multicast signals and other carriage proposals.
Controversy over the idea and late-August vacations have bogged down
commission discussions, and must-carry may have to wait, sources