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Today, the Federal Communications Commission officially adopted changes to long-outdated media ownership standards. The key changes include eliminating the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule, eliminating the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, eliminating the Eight-Voices Test, and revising the Top-Four Prohibition to a case-by-case review process versus the previous outright ban.
FreedomWorks Foundation President Adam Brandon made the following comments:
“In an unprecedented era of regulatory reform and modernization, the FCC under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai continues to lead the way. There is absolutely no serious argument for rules limiting who can own newspapers or broadcast stations, especially in this age of the Internet. It’s laughable that some could seriously suggest we ban common ownership of newspapers and broadcasters at a time when newspapers have podcasts and Youtube channels, and broadcasters have websites with written content.
“Further, newspapers and broadcasters are facing unprecedented competition from multiple other platforms, the result of which is obvious given the rate at which newspapers are failing and broadcast ad revenues are flat-lining. However, newspapers and broadcasters remain crucial mediums for millions of Americans. Each of these rule changes will strengthen these sectors by allowing owners and investors to achieve economies of scale in advertising and reporting.
“Through cable, satellite, and the Internet, the market long-ago solved concerns of competition and diversity these regulations sought to alleviate. Congress never intended for these rules to outlive their usefulness. FCC is right to finally get out of the way.”