According to sources, the FCC is clearing the way for
Tribune's new owners to take control of its TV station licenses.
The Media Bureau has given the commissioners a heads up that
it will be issuing a decision by week's end extending Tribune's permanent
waiver of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rules in Chicago, and
temporary waivers in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Hartford, which will
allow the license transfers to go through.
In addition, the chairman's office has circulated for
commission vote an order rejecting a petition to deny the permanent Chicago
waiver, filed by the United Church of Christ, the Teamsters and others.
Tribune's new ownership out of bankruptcy will have to
either divest or seek new waivers under the FCC's new ownership rules once they
are voted on, which could come sooner rather than later.
The chairman's office also circulated its much-anticipated
quadrennial review of its media ownership rules, which proposes to loosen the
newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rules along the lines of former chairman
Kevin Martin's rule changes in 2007, when the Tribune waivers were also