Thursday, October 18, 2007

Analysts predict impact of FCC cross-ownership rule change may be minimal

The cross-ownership strategy is widely considered a failure as evidenced by the struggles of Tribune Company after its purchase of Times Mirror and the recent decision by Belo to isolate its newspapers from its local TV stations. "All the supposed advantages of owning a newspaper and TV station in one market haven't worked out to be as profound as once imagined," said John Morton, president of Morton Research Inc., a media consulting firm in Silver Spring, Md. WSJ

In 2003, when the FCC failed to loosen ownership rules, media companies still thought it was beneficial to merge TV and newspapers to sell combined packages of advertising in the same market. "Cross-selling of advertising has been elusive and is not widely believed in at this point," said Leland Westerfield, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets.

FCC Chairman Martin wants a vote Dec. 18.

Related: Two senators urged the FCC not to "rush forward" with rule changes USAToday

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