FCC Sources: Chairman Wants Media-Ownership Vote on Nov. 30

Genachowski Has Said Item On Track For Year-End Decision

WASHINGTON — Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski said in July that the agency is on track to issue an order on its media ownership notice of proposed rulemaking by the end of the year and, according to FCC sources, he is expected to circulate an item for a vote at the Nov 30 meeting.

The chairman's office had no comment.

The FCC had been reviewing its media-ownership rules due to a congressional obligation to do so every four years, as well as an order from the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Recently, broadcasters have been beating a path to FCC staffers’ doors to discuss media-ownership issues, sources said.

If the order follows the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on media ownership that the FCC approved last December, it will scrap the radio-TV cross-ownership rules, essentially preserve the FCC's attempted loosening of the newspaper-TV cross-ownership rules, which the agency tried to do under Republican chairman Kevin Martin, but leave in place the radio and TV local-market ownership caps.

The Media Bureau is said to be essentially finished with its biennial 323 form report based on information filed by broadcasters on their attributable ownership interests in radio and TV stations. According to sources, the chairman has also circulated tweaks to the form for the next report.

The FCC revised its reporting form two years ago to "better gauge the diversity of media ownership by "obtain[ing] an accurate, reliable, and comprehensive assessment of minority and female broadcast ownership in the United States."