FCC Extends Tribune Waivers: Sources

Chairman also Circulates Media Ownership Item for Vote

According to sources, the FCC is clearing the way for Tribune's new owners to take control of its TV station licenses.

The Media Bureau has given the commissioners a heads up that it will be issuing a decision by week's end extending Tribune's permanent waiver of the newspaper-broadcast crossownership rules in Chicago, and temporary waivers in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and Hartford, which will allow the license transfers to go through.

In addition, the chairman's office has circulated for commission vote an order rejecting a petition to deny the permanent Chicago waiver, filed by the United Church of Christ, the Teamsters and others.

Tribune's new ownership out of bankruptcy will have to either divest or seek new waivers under the FCC's new ownership rules once they are voted on, which could come sooner rather than later.

The chairman's office also circulated its much-anticipated quadrennial review of its media ownership rules, which proposes to loosen the newspaper-broadcast crossownership rules along the lines of former Chairman Kevin Martin's rule changes in 2007, when the Tribune waivers were also granted.