An announcement from the Media Access Project:
Just before Labor Day weekend, the U.S. Court of Appeals denied a request by Tribune Corporation to undermine the Court's recent ruling rejecting the FCC's revised media ownership rules. In July, Tribune had asked the court to modify its decision to allow common ownership of newspapers and television or radio stations in the nation's largest media markets.
In a joint filing opposing Tribune's request, public interest petitioners demonstrated to the Court that Tribune's request was fundamentally inconsistent with the Court's decision that rejected the FCC's media ownership rules. The public interest filing demonstrated that Tribune was attempting to revive the thoroughly discredited "diversity index".
In addition to rejecting Tribune's request, the Court acted consistent with MAP's advocacy and partially granted a request by the FCC to enforce the revised radio ownership rules that were upheld by the Court. The FCC asked that it be allowed to implement several of the new radio ownership rules that are generally more restrictive than the prior rules. While MAP did not support all of the changes, MAP supported the FCC's request because it would restrict more radio mergers than the existing rules. MAP also opposed other changes requested by the FCC which would have undermined the FCC's obligation to develop consistent economic analysis for its media ownership rules. The Court did not grant that portion of the FCC's requst.
Still pending before the Court is a minor request by Viacom asking to remove the radio-television cross ownership rule, which MAP opposed. MAP expects the Court to reject that motion because it is virtually identical to the Tribune motion.
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