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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:  12 that the FCC had to deal with this not only because of the most recent court decisions but also because he was “embarrassed to say that I think the Commission in the last five to six years has lost virtually every challenge to its media ownership regulations” (Powell, 2002, April 9, np). As a result Powell noted that the FCC had to improve the factual basis it used to justify these regulations. But this did not necessarily mean relying on those existing regulations to achieve the desired outcomes. Yes, we believe in diversity in medium. Yes, we believe in diversity of viewpoint. The problem is what are the vehicles for fostering that, including the market, by the way, which I don’t think should be excluded as a vehicle for producing a variety and variation of viewpoint. But what are the rules that are contextualized for the modern era and not the 1960s and 1970s in which many of them were momented. (Powell, 2002, April 9, np) Powell, then acknowledged that the court’s questioning of why the FCC did not consider the availability of alternative viewpoints through other media, such as cable television, newspapers and magazines , DBS, or radio was valid. When Sam Donaldson challenged Powell that if you included all of these other media how could a case be made for continued broadcast ownership limits Powell’s response was: “You might say that. You might say it makes sense but at a more liberalized level” (Powell, 2002, April 9, np). It was with this orientation to the problem that Chairman Powell announced the creation of a Media Ownership Working Group on October 29, 2001. The FCC news release quoted Chairman Powell as saying that: “Rebuilding the factual foundation of the Commission’s media ownership regulations is one of my top priorities” and that he was “creating the Media Ownership Group to bring a sharp focus to these tasks” (Federal Communications Commission, 2001, October 29, p. 1). The news release went on to note that: Chairman Powell emphasized the importance of policymakers having a clear and informed understanding of the current state of

Authors: Blevins, Jeffrey. and Brown, Duncan.
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12
that the FCC had to deal with this not only because of the most recent court decisions but also
because he was “embarrassed to say that I think the Commission in the last five to six years has
lost virtually every challenge to its media ownership regulations” (Powell, 2002, April 9, np).
As a result Powell noted that the FCC had to improve the factual basis it used to justify these
regulations. But this did not necessarily mean relying on those existing regulations to achieve
the desired outcomes.
Yes, we believe in diversity in medium. Yes, we believe in
diversity of viewpoint. The problem is what are the vehicles for
fostering that, including the market, by the way, which I don’t
think should be excluded as a vehicle for producing a variety and
variation of viewpoint. But what are the rules that are
contextualized for the modern era and not the 1960s and 1970s in
which many of them were momented. (Powell, 2002, April 9, np)
Powell, then acknowledged that the court’s questioning of why the FCC did not consider
the availability of alternative viewpoints through other media, such as cable television,
newspapers and magazines , DBS, or radio was valid. When Sam Donaldson challenged Powell
that if you included all of these other media how could a case be made for continued broadcast
ownership limits Powell’s response was: “You might say that. You might say it makes sense but
at a more liberalized level” (Powell, 2002, April 9, np).
It was with this orientation to the problem that Chairman Powell announced the creation
of a Media Ownership Working Group on October 29, 2001. The FCC news release quoted
Chairman Powell as saying that: “Rebuilding the factual foundation of the Commission’s media
ownership regulations is one of my top priorities” and that he was “creating the Media
Ownership Group to bring a sharp focus to these tasks” (Federal Communications Commission,
2001, October 29, p. 1). The news release went on to note that:
Chairman Powell emphasized the importance of policymakers
having a clear and informed understanding of the current state of


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