The FCC has scheduled a series of three, half-day “workshops” or panels Nov. 2-4 at the agency’s Washington offices to start its mandated review of its broadcast ownership regulations. The workshops will help shape the formal paper-driven inquiry or rulemaking that broadcasters hope will end with the FCC relaxing or jettisoning some or all of the rules.
The FCC is kicking off its legally mandated review of broadcasting ownership restrictions with a series of three, half-day “workshops” or panels Nov. 2-4 at the agency’s Washington offices.
Broadcasters will have their say on whether the FCC should repeal or modify the rules on the third day (Nov. 4) at a panel moderated by William Lake, the new Media Bureau Chief.
So far, the panel comprises Jane Mago, executive vice president and general counsel of the NAB; George Mahoney, vice president, general counsel, Media General; and Jim Winston, executive director, National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters.
The “Policy Scholar’s Panel,” on day one (Nov. 2), includes several academics and former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth, president of Furchtgott-Roth Economic Enterprises.
The second panel on the second day (Nov. 3) brings together representatives of advocacy groups with an interest in media ownership. The panel includes former FCC Media Bureau Chief Ken Ferree, now a senior fellow at the Progress and Freedom Foundation.
It also includes three representatives of groups generally opposed to loosening ownership restrictions: Andy Schwartzman, president, Media Access Project; Cheryl Leanza, policy director, The Office of Communications of the United Church of Christ; and S. Derek Turner, research director, Free Press.
The workshops will help shape the formal paper-driven inquiry or rulemaking that broadcasters hope will end with the FCC relaxing or jettisoning some or all of the rules.
More than anything else, broadcasters would like the FCC to repeal the so-called duopoly rule, which bars broadcasters in small markets from owning more than one station.
In addition to the duopoly rule, the FCC will also review the newspaper/broadcast crossownership rule, the radio/television cross-ownership rule, the local radio ownership rule and the dual network rule.
The announcement of the workshops includes questions intended to guide the presentation of the workshop panelists. They also provide some hint of the FCC’s current thinking.
The law requires the FCC to conduct such a review every four years.