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CU Praises Vote To Overturn FCC Media Ownership Rules

For immediate release
September 4, 2003
Susan Herold
(202) 462-6262 ext 1119

Statement of Gene Kimmelman
On Today’s Senate Appropriation Committee Vote on
Media Ownership Limits

“The Senate Appropriations Committee’s vote today to overturn a significant piece of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) irrational media consolidation order was an enormous victory for consumers. The FCC’s order increased the number of TV stations that national networks can own and operate, further eliminating local control over standards in television programming. With today’s vote to keep the national television station ownership limit at 35 percent, the Senate is sending the clear message to the FCC that Congress places enormous value on the ability of communities to have input into appropriate local TV programming.
“We will continue to push for a rollback of all aspects of the FCC’s media consolidation debacle. We are especially pleased that Senators Hutchison, Dorgan and Murray are committed to including a provision in this bill that will maintain the limit on newspaper/broadcast cross ownership when it comes to the Senate floor in the near future. By reinstating this vital protection, Congress will ensure that local media remain as diverse and independent as possible, and that competition in local media markets will flourish.
“In the wake of yesterday’s 3rd Circuit Court decision — which stayed the FCC’s media ownership rule due to concerns that media competition will suffer — and the Senate committee’s action today, there is enormous momentum building to overturn all the FCC’s rules. We look forward to congressional action to ensure a vibrant media market for consumers.”