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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:  7 can be affiliated with the same political party. However, at the time of this writing there is one vacancy on the FCC as another democrat has yet to be appointed to the commission and confirmed by the Senate. This leaves Michael Copps as the lone democrat on the commission, and the “Lone Ranger” of sorts for maintaining limits on broadcast ownership (see Labaton, 2002b). Commissioner Copps has already criticized the “timing and tone” of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking as “prejudging” its conclusions (Concurring Statement of Commissioner Michael J. Copps, 2002, p. 2). As Scott Cleland, chief executive of the Precursor Group (a telecommunications investor research firm) has predicted, the debate over broadcast ownership limits “is going to be the single-most partisan of all issues at the FCC” (Pelofsky, 2002). Ironically, Copps also criticizes a Precursor Group press release that predicted the FCC’s proceedings will result in ownership caps being repealed (see Concurring Statement of Commissioner Michael J. Copps, 2002, p. 2). Some critics of media consolidation have also expressed displeasure with the FCC’s 12 studies, implying that the studies were predetermined to support the case for further deregulation (see McConnell, 2002b, p. 10). Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America has vowed to dig-up internal communications within the FCC to determine if the agency coordinated with researchers so that their conclusions would favor deregulation (McConnell, 2002b, p. 10). At the very least, how the FCC is approaching the issue of broadcast ownership rules is of central importance to many groups. HOW IS THE FCC DEFINING THE ISSUE? In earlier sections we explained why the FCC has been forced to review various broadcast ownership regulations. Here we analyze a number of documents issued by the FCC

Authors: Blevins, Jeffrey. and Brown, Duncan.
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7
can be affiliated with the same political party. However, at the time of this writing there is one
vacancy on the FCC as another democrat has yet to be appointed to the commission and
confirmed by the Senate. This leaves Michael Copps as the lone democrat on the commission,
and the “Lone Ranger” of sorts for maintaining limits on broadcast ownership (see Labaton,
2002b). Commissioner Copps has already criticized the “timing and tone” of the Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking as “prejudging” its conclusions (Concurring Statement of Commissioner
Michael J. Copps, 2002, p. 2). As Scott Cleland, chief executive of the Precursor Group (a
telecommunications investor research firm) has predicted, the debate over broadcast ownership
limits “is going to be the single-most partisan of all issues at the FCC” (Pelofsky, 2002).
Ironically, Copps also criticizes a Precursor Group press release that predicted the FCC’s
proceedings will result in ownership caps being repealed (see Concurring Statement of
Commissioner Michael J. Copps, 2002, p. 2).
Some critics of media consolidation have also expressed displeasure with the FCC’s 12
studies, implying that the studies were predetermined to support the case for further deregulation
(see McConnell, 2002b, p. 10). Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America has
vowed to dig-up internal communications within the FCC to determine if the agency coordinated
with researchers so that their conclusions would favor deregulation (McConnell, 2002b, p. 10).
At the very least, how the FCC is approaching the issue of broadcast ownership rules is of central
importance to many groups.
HOW IS THE FCC DEFINING THE ISSUE?
In earlier sections we explained why the FCC has been forced to review various
broadcast ownership regulations. Here we analyze a number of documents issued by the FCC


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