Earlier this week, the FCC released an order adopting new rules governing the sale of TV stations serving as “satellites” of other stations in their markets – either rebroadcasting the primary station or otherwise operating in conjunction with that parent station, usually serving rural areas where an independent full-service station cannot economically operate. The new rules allow for the sale of these stations, together with the parent station, without an expensive economic showing that the same conditions that originally justified the satellite status still exist. The applicant just needs to certify that the same conditions exist and, absent challenge, the FCC will presume that the parent and satellite can be sold together. We summarized this proceeding here and here. This is one more action under the FCC’s Modernization of Media Regulation initiative to simplify some of the rules by which broadcasters are governed. The new policies will be effective 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register, following review under the Paperwork Reduction Act.
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