Court: FCC to Rule on TV-Newspaper Ownership


The Federal Communications Commission is the government entity that gets to decide whether Tribune Co. may retain ownership of a newspaper and two TV stations in the Hartford, Conn., market, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday.

The ruling effectively dismissed a ruling by a lower federal court that ordered Tribune to come into compliance with an FCC rule that bars the common ownership of a TV station and a newspaper in the same local market.

The Second Circuit panel said the lower court erred in not dismissing the case and referring it to the FCC, which, the court said, has exclusive authority over broadcast-licensing matters.

In 2003, Hartford-area resident Neil Ellis filed suit, claiming that Tribune was in violation of the cross-ownership rule because FCC waivers had expired.