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Broadcast Ownership Regulation in a Border Era: An Analysis of how the U.S. Federal Communications Commission is Shaping the Debate on Broadcast Ownership Limits
Unformatted Document Text:  11 period that followed release of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Instead, our analysis is of the ideas the studies’ authors drew on to complete their work. But first we need to summarize the sequence of events that led up to the studies being issued on October 1, 2002 and the context those events established for a review of the FCC’s broadcast ownership regulations. We begin with an analysis of two statements by Chairman Powell that reveal his basic thinking on the issue of broadcast ownership limits. The Thoughts of Chairman Powell In prepared remarks before the Federal Communications Bar Association on June 21, 2001 Chairman Powell titled his presentation “Consumer Policy in Competitive Markets” and revealed his basic approach to his task as head of the FCC. He began with the opening sentence: “As you all well know, I am committed to building policy that is centered around market economics” (Powell, 2001, June 21, p. 1). However, shortly afterwards Powell noted that: I am the first to admit that deregulation for its own sake is not responsible policy. What is good policy is to carefully examine rules to determine if they are actually achieving their stated purposes, or if, instead, they are, in fact, denying consumers value by impeding efficient market developments that these consumers would welcome. (Powell, 2001, June 21, p. 2) He then listed three instances; “consumer premises equipment”, “mobile phone services” and “cable television” where it had been argued at the time that deregulation would harm consumer interests. Powel claimed that, despite the concerns voiced at the time, consumers had benefited in each case (Powell, 2001, June 21, p. 3). The implication, that continued deregulation would also benefit consumers, was clear. In a “dialogue” with television personality Sam Donaldson at a meeting of the National Association of Broadcasters in Orlando, Florida on April 9, 2002 Chairman Powell responded to a series of questions about the FCC’s review of broadcast ownership limits. He began by noting

Authors: Blevins, Jeffrey. and Brown, Duncan.
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11
period that followed release of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making. Instead, our analysis is of
the ideas the studies’ authors drew on to complete their work. But first we need to summarize
the sequence of events that led up to the studies being issued on October 1, 2002 and the context
those events established for a review of the FCC’s broadcast ownership regulations. We begin
with an analysis of two statements by Chairman Powell that reveal his basic thinking on the issue
of broadcast ownership limits.
The Thoughts of Chairman Powell
In prepared remarks before the Federal Communications Bar Association on June 21,
2001 Chairman Powell titled his presentation “Consumer Policy in Competitive Markets” and
revealed his basic approach to his task as head of the FCC. He began with the opening sentence:
“As you all well know, I am committed to building policy that is centered around market
economics” (Powell, 2001, June 21, p. 1). However, shortly afterwards Powell noted that:
I am the first to admit that deregulation for its own sake is not
responsible policy. What is good policy is to carefully examine
rules to determine if they are actually achieving their stated
purposes, or if, instead, they are, in fact, denying consumers value
by impeding efficient market developments that these consumers
would welcome. (Powell, 2001, June 21, p. 2)
He then listed three instances; “consumer premises equipment”, “mobile phone services” and
“cable television” where it had been argued at the time that deregulation would harm consumer
interests. Powel claimed that, despite the concerns voiced at the time, consumers had benefited
in each case (Powell, 2001, June 21, p. 3). The implication, that continued deregulation would
also benefit consumers, was clear.
In a “dialogue” with television personality Sam Donaldson at a meeting of the National
Association of Broadcasters in Orlando, Florida on April 9, 2002 Chairman Powell responded to
a series of questions about the FCC’s review of broadcast ownership limits. He began by noting


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