According to the testimony given yesterday by FCC Chairman Pai at an oversight hearing before the House of Representatives Communications and Technology Subcommittee, the FCC is likely to release today a draft of its order on reconsideration of last year’s FCC decision on its Quadrennial Review of its broadcast ownership rules (the rules restricting the number of media outlets that one company can own in any geographic market). See our article here on the issues pending on reconsideration. According to Commissioner Pai’s testimony, the draft order will include provisions:
- Eliminating the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule
- Eliminating the radio/television cross-ownership rule
- Eliminating the 8-voices test of the local television ownership rules that limits TV duopolies to markets where there will be 8 remaining independently owned and programmed TV stations after the combination
- Allows consideration on a case-by-case basis of combinations of TV stations that are ranked among the Top 4 stations in their market (combinations which are now prohibited)
- Eliminating the attribution rule for television Joint Sales Agreements (JSA), meaning that stations could combine sales operations without those combinations being considered the same as common ownership
- Establishing an incubator program to encourage minority ownership
This draft order will be considered at the FCC’s next open meeting on November 16. Watch for more details after the draft order is released.