Kevin J. Martin's plan to relax cross-ownership rules, which has the support of three of the five commission members, would be a huge win for Sam Zell, who needs FCC approval to complete his buyout of Tribune and Rupert Murdoch, who has lobbied against the current rules for years. NYT:
Mr. Martin said he was striving to reach a consensus with his fellow commissioners, both on the schedule and on the underlying rule changes, although he would not say whether he would move the measures forward if he were able to muster only three votes.If Martin rushes through to rewrite the rules and push for a vote in December, there'll be a whole lot of hollering from folks who oppose relaxing rules that will increase media consolidation.
“We’ve had six hearings around the country already; we’ve done numerous studies; we’ve been collecting data for the last 18 months; and the issues have been pending for years,” Mr. Martin said in an interview. “I think it is an appropriate time to begin a discussion to complete this rule-making and complete these media ownership issues.”
* AP story at latimes.com
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