House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) sought
assurances Thursday from Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael
Powell that the commission will complete its review and rewrite of
media-ownership rules "no later than spring of 2003."
Ken Ferree, chief of the FCC's Media Bureau, told reporters two weeks ago
that the FCC was rolling consideration of several media regulations into one
proceeding that it plans to have completed by next year.
Tauzin said he is "disappointed with the commission's
decision to defer what should be an immediate repeal" of the ban on owning both
newspapers and broadcast outlets.
"However, I am heartened that final resolution of all of the outstanding
broadcast-ownership issues -- in the form of an 'omnibus' proceeding -- is on
the horizon," he added.