The FCC reauthorization bill that passed today through the House Communications and Technology Subcommittee was originally drafted to include a provision that would effectively repeal the ban on newspaper and broadcast cross-ownership. While we applaud the leadership of Chairman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) in proposing such language, we are disappointed the bill was passed without addressing the cross-ownership rule, a 42-year old relic that no longer serves a legitimate government purpose in today’s fragmented news market. At a time when we need to attract more capital to support high-quality journalism, this outdated rule cuts off an important potential source of investment. The rule handcuffs news outlets that seek to be more competitive in an industry increasingly dominated by online platforms. We call on the FCC, as the expert agency, to swiftly grant the pending Petition for Reconsideration and repeal this outdated rule once and for all.
David Chavern serves as President & CEO of the News Media Alliance. Chavern has built a career spanning 30 years in executive strategic and operational roles, and most recently completed a decade-long tenure at the United States Chamber of Commerce.