It says petitioners Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project failed to show “a clear and indisputable abuse of discretion or error of law, a lack of an alternate avenue for adequate relief, and a likelihood of irreparable injury.”
In November 2017, the FCC took a number of steps to roll back its regulation of media ownership (including the rule requiring that eight independent TV voices remain in a market before a TV duopoly would be approved, eliminated the newspaper/broadcast and radio/television crossownership rules) and was promptly challenged by the public interest groups Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project.
On Wednesday, their appeal was turned down by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington.
The court said their request failed to show “a clear and indisputable abuse of discretion or error of law, a lack of an alternate avenue for adequate relief, and a likelihood of irreparable injury.”
The action means the FCC’s decision to end the ban on crossownership rules will go forward and face no delay. In addition, there will be no delay in loosening other local television combinations in individual markets. The merits of the Prometheus challenge to the FCC’s new rules will be heard later this year the court said — any petitions for review “shall be stayed for a period of six months from the date of this order.”
NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said: “We’re grateful that the court rejected the mandamus request and that meaningful reform of outdated broadcast ownership rules can go forward.”