Commissioners sign off on ownership vote delay


FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has decided to honor MMTC’s request to delay an commission-level vote on the latest quadrennial review until it can get one more study completed, added to the record and commented upon. Two commissioners, one from each party, have voiced their approval of the decision.

One, Mignon Clyburn, applauded the MMTC proposal and said she was looking forward to seeing its results.

Stated Clyburn, “I applaud the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council for embarking on a study that could shed greater light on any potential harms that may result from increased media consolidation.  The Commission is in need of data that will enable it to make timely, smart, and forward-looking decisions while taking into account America’s changing media landscape.  I look forward to the results of the study, and am very pleased that such an examination is taking place.”

The other, Robert McDowell, said that he felt there was plenty of evidence on the record to relax outdated cross-ownership rules, but approved of the latest delay as a “prudent” move, and said he was more looking forward to a vote on the matter.

Said McDowell, “Although I firmly believe that the record regarding the Commission’s newspaper/broadcast and radio/television cross-ownership policies more than sufficiently justifies the immediate elimination of these outdated rules, I respect adhering to a prudent process that allows for the submission of the proposed Minority Media and Telecommunications Council study, along with expedient but adequate public comment.  The Commission’s review should be swift and sound.  Not only did Congress intend for us to eliminate obsolete rules once more competition becomes evident, but it also meant for us to act with alacrity in our review.  Accordingly, it is my hope that this most recent pause in our progress on this front is our last.  I look forward to a substantive vote to modernize our rules by this summer.”