Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell's decision to move
forward with a vote on broadcast ownership in early June won praise Wednesday
from House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.).
"I am pleased that chairman Powell is listening to both Congress and the
courts in regard to the broadcast-ownership rules currently governing the
mass-media marketplace," Tauzin said in a prepared statement.
Tauzin has been prodding the FCC to loosen the rules. Other lawmakers have
pressed the agency to give the public an opportunity to comment on changes
before they take effect.
Last Friday, Powell wrote back to the lawmakers saying that he was holding to
his June 2 decision date and had no plans to seek addition public comments.
Powell has described the broadcast-ownership record as one of the most robust
the agency has complied since late 1997.
The FCC is expected to modify or repeal a rule that bars the common ownership
of a newspaper and a TV station in the same market and a rule that bars a
TV-station group from reaching more than 35 percent of TV households
Four other media-ownership rules are also up for review.