Fox Tops Station Cap With Chris-Craft Deal


Washington-News Corp.'s announced purchase of 10 TV stations from Chris-Craft Industries Inc. would put the company over a federal rule that limits a broadcast-station group to 35 percent of television households.

Before the acquisition, News Corp. owned 23 stations, which put the company close to the 35 percent cap. The $5.35 billion Chris-Craft deal would put News Corp. over the cap, but company officials did not know by how much.

Maureen O'Connell, News Corp.'s vice president of government relations, said the company would ask the Federal Communications Commission for about one year to divest the necessary number of stations to comply with the rule.

In May, the FCC refused to relax the cap, prompting News Corp. and NBC to announce that they would ask a federal court to overturn the commission's ruling.

Should Texas Gov. George W. Bush win the White House in November, a Bush-appointed FCC majority might decide to lift the cap.