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IN BRIEF / MEDIA

FCC Proposal Would Ease Ownership Rules

May 13, 2003|Edmund Sanders

The Media Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission delivered a 226-page staff recommendation to the agency's five commissioners, proposing to relax media ownership rules and clearing the way for increased industry consolidation.

The recommendations -- which would allow one company to buy as many as three television stations in large markets and substantially lift the ban on cross-ownership of TV stations and newspapers in the same city, among other things -- are likely to win approval from the FCC's majority Republicans.

But Democrats are expected, perhaps as soon as today, to request a one-month delay of the June 2 vote.

Democrats also have been pushing FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell to publicly release the confidential staff report. Lawmakers will take up the issue at a hearing today, but experts doubt whether Congress will intervene in the agency proceeding.

--Edmund Sanders

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