The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled Thursday to consider
overturning some or all new broadcast-ownership rules adopted by the Federal
Communications Commission in June, moving just days after the major broadcast
networks launched a lobbying offensive to protect their gains at the
A spokesman for the committee said the panel would take up the FCC's new
budget at Thursday's meeting.
In July, the House used the FCC's spending bill to overturn a new rule that
would allow ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox to purchase more stations and reach up to 45%
of all U.S. TV households, up from 35%.
The chairman of the Senate Appropriations panel is Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), a
strong supporter of the 35% cap. In June, he helped the Senate Commerce
Committee to approve his 35% cap bill and to add to it a provision that would
overturn the FCC decision to allow TV stations and newspapers to combine in the
Perhaps coincidentally, the FCC's new rules also take effect Thursday. On
Wednesday, a federal court in Philadelphia is to hear arguments on a motion to
stay the rules for the duration of the litigation.
Meanwhile, the "Big Four" networks Tuesday released a poll by The Luntz
Research Cos. as part of a broader lobbying effort designed to show Capitol Hill
that the public was not convinced that the FCC's new rules would harm consumer