Tags: orielly | media ownership | fcc | chris ruddy

FCC's O'Rielly Seeks Review of TV Ownership Rules

Image: FCC's O'Rielly Seeks Review of TV Ownership Rules
FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:43 AM

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly is urging his agency to review the impact of media ownership rules of television broadcasters — rules that currently limit the number of stations networks can own.

The media ownership rules have become a major area of controversy for the FCC as it contemplates approving the $3.9 billion merger of broadcasters Sinclair and Tribune — which, if completed, would give Sinclair a market reach of 72 percent U.S. homes. U.S law bars any network from any stations reaching more than 39 percent of U.S. homes.

"It is long overdue for the commission to properly and sufficiently reconsider its media ownership rules," O'Rielly wrote on his FCC blog this week.

He also noted the FCC had failed to engage in a quadrennial review of the ownership limitations and rules, though it has been mandated by Congress.

Rule changes made the FCC in April have effectively gutted the 39 percent limitation have led some critics to demand the Commission first engage in an ownership review process that O'Rielly supports.

Bloomberg reported that in a Sept. 27 meeting with Newsmax CEO Christopher Ruddy FCC Chairman Ajit Pai indicated the Commission is considering conducting a review of the ownership caps approving the merger.

"The FCC used a clever and antiquated definition to subvert the law mandating a 39 percent limit," Ruddy said. "The Commission has a responsibility to engage in a full and transparent process involving the public before approving this momentous merger," Ruddy said.

O'Rielly, a Republican appointee whose term at the FCC expires June 30, 2019, went on to say that the broadcast and print media is disproportionately burdened by FCC rules compared to newer forms of media such as internet news and social media networks.

He also called for the media market to be more accurately defined, easing restrictions that prevent different types of media from owning multiple outlets, and stopping the creation of more restrictions.

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FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly is urging his agency to review the impact of media ownership rules of television broadcasters - rules that currently limit the number of stations networks can own.
orielly, media ownership, fcc, chris ruddy
318
2017-43-24
Tuesday, 24 October 2017 11:43 AM
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