FCC Won't Let June 2 Ownership Vote Slip

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Las Vegas -- Federal Communications Commission officials vowed Tuesday not to
let slip the June 2 date for the vote on overhauling broadcast ownership
rules.

The FCC is coming under pressure from some in Congress and industry to take
more time and allow for more public review of proposed changes.

'There will be no delay. June 2 is the date,' said Kenneth Ferree, chief of
the FCC's Media Bureau, on Tuesday at a panel discussion on mass media ownership
at the National Association of Broadcasters convention here.

The FCC is considering repealing or eliminating several rules, including one
that bans the common ownership of a newspaper and a broadcast property in the
same market and one that bars a TV station group from reaching more than 35
percent of TV households nationally.

Congress ordered the FCC to review its broadcast ownership rules every two
years. FCC chairman Michael Powell is said to have the votes to raise the 35
percent cap somewhere between 40 percent and 50 percent and to repeal the
newspaper-broadcast ban at least in the country's largest media markets.

Powell told an NAB audience Tuesday to expect liberalization, not
elimination, of the rules by the FCC's GOP majority.

'You should not look to the total elimination of all the rules,' Powell said.
'We have never said that we are out to eliminate all the rules, and I think to
do so would probably be irresponsible.'

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