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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:  4 Proposed Rulemaking, para. 6). For example, the rule is intended to permit the situation where Viacom owns CBS (a major broadcast network) and UPN (a minor network). The Fox Television court emphasized in its decision that the FCC must provide some empirical analysis regarding competition in the television industry in order to justify retention of the national ownership rule (see Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, para. 23). To meet this requirement, the FCC initiated its current proceeding regarding the national ownership rule along with other ownership rules since each “is intended to foster competition and diversity in the local media marketplace” (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, para. 8), and commissioned a series of 12 studies to assess how media ownership affects diversity, localism and competition in markets in order to craft an analytic framework that would pass scrutiny by the courts. THE CONTEXT OF THE CURRENT DEBATE ON BROADCAST OWNERSHIP LIMITS The mandatory biennial review and court decision in Fox Television v. FCC (2002) has provided the FCC a historic opportunity to significantly reshape electronic media in the United States, and the stakes are as high as they have ever been. As FCC Commissioner Michael Copps remarked in a statement accompanying the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, there is no issue before the Commission that is more fraught with serious consequences for the American people than the media ownership rules. . . . At stake are old and honored values of localism, diversity, competition, and the multiplicity of voices and choices that undergirds our American democracy. (Concurring Statement of Commissioner Michael J. Copps, 2002, p. 1) Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a non-profit public interest group, has agreed that the FCC’s deliberations on broadcast ownership rules will be “one of the most critical periods in the history of US communications” (Center for Digital Democracy, 2002a, September 12). The Center for Digital Democracy (2002a) goes on to spell out some of

Authors: Blevins, Jeffrey. and Brown, Duncan.
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4
Proposed Rulemaking, para. 6). For example, the rule is intended to permit the situation where
Viacom owns CBS (a major broadcast network) and UPN (a minor network).
The Fox Television court emphasized in its decision that the FCC must provide some
empirical analysis regarding competition in the television industry in order to justify retention of
the national ownership rule (see Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, para. 23). To meet this
requirement, the FCC initiated its current proceeding regarding the national ownership rule along
with other ownership rules since each “is intended to foster competition and diversity in the local
media marketplace” (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, para. 8), and commissioned a series of 12
studies to assess how media ownership affects diversity, localism and competition in markets in
order to craft an analytic framework that would pass scrutiny by the courts.
THE CONTEXT OF THE CURRENT DEBATE
ON BROADCAST OWNERSHIP LIMITS
The mandatory biennial review and court decision in Fox Television v. FCC (2002) has
provided the FCC a historic opportunity to significantly reshape electronic media in the United
States, and the stakes are as high as they have ever been. As FCC Commissioner Michael Copps
remarked in a statement accompanying the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, there is no issue
before the Commission that is more fraught with serious
consequences for the American people than the media ownership
rules. . . . At stake are old and honored values of localism,
diversity, competition, and the multiplicity of voices and choices
that undergirds our American democracy. (Concurring Statement
of Commissioner Michael J. Copps
, 2002, p. 1)
Jeffrey Chester, Executive Director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a non-profit public
interest group, has agreed that the FCC’s deliberations on broadcast ownership rules will be “one
of the most critical periods in the history of US communications” (Center for Digital Democracy,
2002a, September 12). The Center for Digital Democracy (2002a) goes on to spell out some of


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