Statement: Supreme Court to Hear FCC Petition to Overturn Appeals Court Decision on Media Cross Ownership Rule

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The Supreme Court today announced that it will hear petitions filed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and a group of industry stakeholders (including the News Media Alliance) seeking to reinstate the FCC’s steps to modernize the country’s media ownership rules, including the repeal of a 1970s-era rule that prohibits common ownership of a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same market. The FCC’s changes were overturned last year by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on procedural grounds.

News Media Alliance President & CEO, David Chavern, stated, “We commend the Supreme Court for deciding to hear these important cases. The media cross ownership rule is derived from a bygone era that no longer exists in today’s diverse media landscape. As both the FCC and the Third Circuit Court agreed back in 2003, the rule as it stands is no longer in the public interest. We hope the Supreme Court will recognize that reinstating the FCC’s changes to repeal this rule will help sustain local news media at a monumental time in our country’s history when local news is needed more than ever.”

Ironically, the appeals court panel that preserved the cross-ownership rule is the same one that agreed with the FCC in 2003 that the ban was no longer in the public interest, and in 2017 admonished the FCC for failing to act to revise it.

For more background on why the media cross-ownership rule should be overturned, read Chavern’s column in CQ Researcher, Pro: Should the ban on one company owning a newspaper and a broadcaster in the same community be repealed?



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