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FCC Reinstates Media Ownership Changes, Seeks Comments


Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission

The FCC's Media Bureau has released an Order, following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in FCC v. Prometheus Radio Project, reinstating the loosening of certain rule changes previously adopted by the Commission in its media ownership proceedings. The rules had been vacated and remanded by the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019.

As such, the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule, the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule and the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule were eliminated, and the Local Television Ownership Rule and Local Radio Ownership Rule were reinstated as adopted in the Commission's 2017 Order on Reconsideration. In addition, the eligible entity standard and its application to regulatory measures as set forth in the Commission's 2016 Second Report and Orderwere reinstated. Finally, the regulatory measures adopted in the Commission's 2018 Incubator Orderwere reinstated.

In addition, the Media Bureau also released a Comment Public Notice seeking to update the record in the 2018 Quadrennial Review proceeding, in which the Commission has sought comment, due to its obligation under the Telecom Act of 1996, on whether its media ownership rules remain "necessary in the public interest as the result of competition."

The Media Bureau opened a new comment window to encourage the submission of new or additional information to update the 2018 quadrennial record, given the passage of time since the prior comment period ended, as well as the subsequent litigation culminating with the Supreme Court's decision in FCC v. Prometheus Radio Project.

The Comment Public Notice, including notice of the deadlines for filing comments and reply comments to update the 2018 quadrennial record, was published in the Federal Register on July 1. Accordingly, the deadline for filing comments is August 2 and the deadline for filing reply comments is August 30.

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