FCC Chairman Genachowski Delays Media Ownership Vote
February 26, 2013
FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today that he will be delaying the Commission's vote on potential changes to the media ownership rules, allowing for further study of the rules' impact on minorities and women. Yesterday, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) asked for a delay in the vote to give its own study of the issue more time.
In a statement, Genachowski said, "Yesterday, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council informed the Commission that it will conduct a focused, independent study on the effects of cross-ownership rules on minority ownership and newsgathering, in order to enhance the record in the Commission’s proceeding. The study is expected to take several weeks and will be filed with the Commission, after which MMTC suggests that the agency solicit public input, to be followed by a Commission vote. In this heavily-litigated area where a strong record is particularly important, I believe this is a sensible approach to moving forward and resolving the issues raised in this proceeding."
In his own statement, Commissioner Robert McDowell said, "Although I firmly believe that the record regarding the Commission’s newspaper/broadcast and radio/television cross-ownership policies more than sufficiently justifies the immediate elimination of these outdated rules, I respect adhering to a prudent process that allows for the submission of the proposed Minority Media and Telecommunications Council study, along with expedient but adequate public comment. The Commission’s review should be swift and sound. Not only did Congress intend for us to eliminate obsolete rules once more competition becomes evident, but it also meant for us to act with alacrity in our review.1 Accordingly, it is my hope that this most recent pause in our progress on this front is our last. I look forward to a substantive vote to modernize our rules by this summer."