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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:  8 related to this review and ask how the readers of those documents are being invited to understand the nature and significance of this issue. Three sets of documents are at the heart of this analysis. First, remarks made by Chairman Powell to the Federal Communications Bar Association regarding “Consumer Policy in Competitive Markets” on June 21, 2001 and the transcript of a “dialogue” Chairman Powell had with television personality Sam Donaldson at a meeting of the National Association of Broadcasters in Orlando, Florida on April 9, 2002. These two sources are used as indicators of Chairman Powell’s basic orientation to the issue of broadcast ownership limits. The second set of documents is a press release issued by the FCC on October 29, 2001 announcing the creation of a Media Ownership Working Group and the transcript of a Roundtable on Media Ownership Policies held at the FCC on the same day in October 2001. Several prepared statements from the participants at this event were also made available on the FCC’s web site. The twelve studies of ownership topics issued by the FCC on October 1, 2002 comprise the third set of documents analyzed here. But, first we begin with an explanation of why we believe it is important to analyze the way the FCC is defining the issue. An Alternative View of the Broadcast Policy-Making Process The ‘classic’ model of the broadcast policy-making process in the United States was presented by Krasnow, Longley, and Terry (1982, pp. 271-85). It was based on a rather traditional pluralist view of society. This view holds that there is a system of ‘checks and balances’ in which power is widely dispersed among a large number of interest groups and no single group can dominate for long since their power will be counterbalanced by coalitions among other groups (Krasnow, Longley & Terry, 1982, pp. 138-41). The authors also claimed

Authors: Blevins, Jeffrey. and Brown, Duncan.
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related to this review and ask how the readers of those documents are being invited to understand
the nature and significance of this issue. Three sets of documents are at the heart of this analysis.
First, remarks made by Chairman Powell to the Federal Communications Bar Association
regarding “Consumer Policy in Competitive Markets” on June 21, 2001 and the transcript of a
“dialogue” Chairman Powell had with television personality Sam Donaldson at a meeting of the
National Association of Broadcasters in Orlando, Florida on April 9, 2002. These two sources
are used as indicators of Chairman Powell’s basic orientation to the issue of broadcast ownership
limits.
The second set of documents is a press release issued by the FCC on October 29, 2001
announcing the creation of a Media Ownership Working Group and the transcript of a
Roundtable on Media Ownership Policies held at the FCC on the same day in October 2001.
Several prepared statements from the participants at this event were also made available on the
FCC’s web site.
The twelve studies of ownership topics issued by the FCC on October 1, 2002 comprise
the third set of documents analyzed here. But, first we begin with an explanation of why we
believe it is important to analyze the way the FCC is defining the issue.
An Alternative View of the Broadcast Policy-Making Process
The ‘classic’ model of the broadcast policy-making process in the United States was
presented by Krasnow, Longley, and Terry (1982, pp. 271-85). It was based on a rather
traditional pluralist view of society. This view holds that there is a system of ‘checks and
balances’ in which power is widely dispersed among a large number of interest groups and no
single group can dominate for long since their power will be counterbalanced by coalitions
among other groups (Krasnow, Longley & Terry, 1982, pp. 138-41). The authors also claimed


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