The commission asks the U.S. Court of Appeals to delay considering appeals of the FCC’s 2008 relaxation of the broadcast-newspaper crossownership rule until it completes its current 2010 review of all broadcast ownership rules.
The FCC asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to once again hold off on considering appeals of its 2008 relaxation of the broadcast-newspaper crossownership rule until it completes its current 2010 review of all broadcast ownership rules.
Further judicial review of the FCC action would “serve little or no practical function,” FCC General Counsel Austin Schlick wrote in a letter to the court Wednesday.
“There is no guarantee that any decision by the court in these cases regarding the reasonableness of the prior commission’s 2008 Order will bear any relationship to the judgments the current commission makes in the first instance in the already-commenced 2010 … review.”
A law mandates that the FCC review its media ownership rules every four years with the intent of eliminating or relaxing those that no longer makes sense. The 2008 action was the result of the 2006 review.
The FCC said that it would also deal with two petitions for reconsideration of its 2008 action in the context of the 2010 review.
Handling the petitions separately “would require unwarranted duplication of effort and fragmented policymaking,” Schlick said.
One of the petitions asks the FCC to overturn its relaxation of the newspaper-broadcast ownership rule. The other asks that the agency reconsider not relaxing the local broadcast ownership rules.
Schlick said that if the court feels that it cannot hold the case in abeyance it should simply remand it to the FCC.