(1) Chicago's very own Tribune company is asking a federal appeals court to allow newspaper-television cross-ownership in big-market cities. No surprises here: the Tribune company is currently breaking this law in big-market cities like New York and Los Angeles, which is one reason why they're pushing to have it repealed. The cross-ownership rule is now expected to last at least one more year since the FCC's repeal of the rule was rejected last month by a Philadelphia court. (The FCC could appeal to the Supreme Court, and that can't and won't be quick.) But the reason for this particular Tribune request is clear: the longer the rule remains intact, the more vulnerable the Tribune company is to antitrust lawsuits which hinge on this rule. (Of course, the Tribune also needs the rule to maintain its growing profit margins, lest it avoid a trend of disinvestment.)
(2) The Federal Communications Commission held its latest localism hearing in Monterey, California on July 21. FCC chair Michael Powell, true to form, was AWOL for the second time in as many hearings. The media reform and democracy movement, true to form, made its presence known.
(3) On July 22, the Senate Commerce Committee approves a bill to expand low-power FM, despite a sneaky last-minute tactic by Conrad Burns which fortunately got voted down.
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