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U.S. Backs Off Relaxing Rules for Big Media

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RedEarth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:25 AM
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U.S. Backs Off Relaxing Rules for Big Media
WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 - Media companies hoping to expand their television station holdings and to own both TV stations and newspapers in the same markets suffered a setback yesterday when the Bush administration decided to abandon its challenge to a ruling that blocked the relaxation of ownership rules.

The Justice Department will not ask the Supreme Court to consider a decision last year by a federal appeals court in Philadelphia that sharply criticized the move toward deregulation and ordered the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider its action. The decision is a final slap to Michael K. Powell, the departing chairman of the F.C.C., who had advocated the changes.

It also throws into question the future of newspapers and TV stations owned by the Tribune Company and Media General, which made acquisitions in anticipation of further deregulation. Tribune's media acquisitions in Los Angeles, New York, Hartford and South Florida would violate the old rules, as would Media General's in Florence, S.C., and Panama City, Fla.


If, as now expected, the appeals court decision stands, it would return the rules to the commission for further consideration. Lawmakers and some officials predicted that whoever succeeds Mr. Powell would probably not embark on a course of wholesale deregulation of the media rules in light of the political furor that Mr. Powell's plan provoked. But they also said the agency could ultimately reconsider and relax a few of the rules.

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Moderator DU Moderator Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:28 AM
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