FCC Planning Media-Ownership Overhaul


Senior Federal Communications Commission officials are planning to conduct a
massive overhaul of media-ownership rules in a deliberate attempt to tackle all
of the tough issues at the same time.

Kenneth Ferree -- who, as chief of the FCC's Media Bureau, is overseeing the
effort -- said his staff expects to deliver recommendations to FCC chairman
Michael Powell in the spring of 2003.

The new rules are expected to address a host of national and local ownership
topics, including the extent to which one company may own cable systems, TV
stations, radio stations and newspapers in the same market and ownership limits
on some of the same properties on a national level.

'All of these rules are really kissing cousins in some sense. You can't look
at the rules in isolation,' Ferree told reporters Monday at FCC

Cable-ownership rules are the one exception to the FCC's plan for an
'omnibus, blockbuster' rulemaking, Ferree said. The agency expects to decide by
the end of the year on placing limits on cable-system ownership and on the
number of channels a cable operator may occupy with affiliated