Statement from NAA President & CEO David Chavern
August 11, 2016
Today, the Federal Communications Commission announced an order to keep a 41-year old ban prohibiting investors from owning both a daily newspaper and a television or radio station in the same market. The decision is deeply disappointing, and is counter to an U.S. Court of Appeals determination – more than a decade ago – that the outright ban is “no longer in the public interest.” Newspapers continue to be the only industry barred by regulation from investment by owners of local broadcast companies, many who are equally committed to local journalism as the local newspaper. The rule is outdated and does not reflect the current state of media, and yet it remains.
Remarkably, the Commission decided to come up with a new “exception” to the outright ban for “failed or failing newspaper” that is completely meaningless. Requiring newspapers to fail or be close to failing before they can draw much needed investment from broadcasters is a “too little, too late ” recipe that will never be pursued given the low barrier entry for news on digital and mobile platforms.
NAA has long advocated for the repeal of the ban, originally put in place in 1975, when a newspaper, radio station and television station were distinctly different mediums. It is time for this regulation to be recalibrated to reflect the state of media today.
Please contact News Media Alliance Vice President, Public Policy Danielle Coffey with any questions.
About News Media Alliance
The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing nearly 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and Canada. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on ensuring the future of new media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the News Media Alliance can be found at www.newsmediaalliance.org.
Members of the News Media Alliance staff have contributed to this post.