FCC Ownership Rules: 45% is Sweet Music to Big Media

13 May 2003

Even before Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell had heaved his two-hundred page media ownership report onto the desks of his four fellow commissioners Monday, the media conglomerates were breaking-out the champagne.

Word was out that Powell’s report proposed upping the present 35% cap on cross-media ownership within a market to 45% [WAMN: 12-May-03]. Tne status quo prevents any one company from reaching more than 35 percent of American households by whatever media means.

The first to party was Belo Corporation, whose portfolio of newspapers includes the Dallas Morning News, plus twenty regional television stations, internet sites and two 24-hour regional cable news channels.

And according to anonymous FCC officials, other media giants are only too happy to settle for 45% believing this to be the thin end of a wholly deregulated wedge.

Data sourced from: New York Post; additional content by WARC staff