CEO: Cross Ownership Compromise?

Statement from David Chavern, NAA president and CEO

“There was a recent optimistic piece by Monty Tayloe in “Communications Daily” about the possibility of a compromise at the FCC on media cross-ownership. If it is true, then we are relieved by the apparent willingness of the FCC to finally look at the media world as it is today — and not as it was in the Nixon Administration. The NAA has been engaging with the FCC on this issue for years and we can only hope that they will follow through and do the right thing; allow an industry going through a economic transition to attract the investment capital it needs to flourish again.

I am shocked at the willingness of “public interest” groups to both bemoan cut-backs in staff of local papers, while objecting to any editing of cross-ownership for companies in the news business. Did they read any business news in the past week? The advertising world is increasingly dominated by just two companies — Facebook and Google, neither of whom are in the news content business. Anyone who thinks that the existence of news organizations is in the “public interest” should also be fully supportive of policies that allow them to attract capital and develop comprehensive strategies to succeed in a world where all news reporting (text, photography, video) will converge onto digital platforms. Trying to keep small, community-focused news organizations isolated and weak is not a recipe for their success.”


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