Today, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced before the House and Energy Commerce Committee updates to the Commission’s regulatory framework on media ownership. This modernization is long overdue, reflecting the massive changes in how Americans consume news and entertainment with advent of the Internet. These updates will also allow for struggling local broadcast stations and newspapers to compete more effectively with cable and Internet content providers.
FreedomWorks Foundation Regulatory Action Center Manager Patrick Hedger offered the following comments:
“Through these updates to local media ownership rules, Chairman Pai and the supporting commissioners are accomplishing two important things: not only do these updates bring desperately needed modernization to this sector, they also show that the FCC under Chairman Pai is committed to its statutory obligation to review and update these rules to reflect new technologies. This latter criterion is something FCC failed to do under Democratic leadership.
“There’s simply no justification for the old rules banning cross-ownership between local newspapers and broadcast stations or the limits on owning multiple broadcast stations. Not only has the Internet rendered any concerns about viewpoint diversity entirely mute, rules such as the 8 voices test, set to be eliminated under these updates, quite literally never had any sort of economic justification. In short, the FCC under Chairman Pai is serving as a model for the rest of government: it’s time to toss out the arbitrary and unnecessary.”