From Commissioners Adelstein and Copps
JOINT STATEMENT BY COMMISSIONERS COPPS AND ADELSTEIN ON
CHAIRMAN MARTINâ€™S CROSS-OWNERSHIP PROPOSAL
This is portrayed as a moderate proposal, but it is a wolf in sheepâ€™s clothing. Donâ€™t let the wool be pulled over your eyes. The proposal could repeal the ban in every market in America, not just the top twenty. Any city, no matter how small, could be subjected to newspaper broadcast ownership combinations under a very loose standard.
Under Chairman Martinâ€™s plan, all markets will be open to one company combining broadcast properties with cable, the newspaper (already a monopoly in most places), even the Internet Service Provider. His proposal could propel a frenzy of competition-stifling mergers across the land. He can try to characterize his plan as affecting only the â€œlargest markets,â€ but consider:
Â· The top 20 markets account for over 43% of U.S. households. Even on its face, this proposal directly affects over 120 million Americans.
Â· The Chairman then creates a loophole that Big Media will drive a truck through, permitting a newspaper-broadcast combination in any market in the country. We have seen how loosely the Commission has granted waivers in the past. If this proposal goes through, the FCC could grant cross-ownership applications in such small towns as Meridian, Mississippi and Bend, Oregon. When big conglomerates canâ€™t get their way in a general rule, they press for loopholes that swallow the rule, and they would succeed
with this approach.
Read the Adelstein/Copps press release in full here