House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. have expressed “serious concerns” about the proposed merger of Standard General with Tegna to FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. The lawmakers pointed to the accelerating consolidation of local news outlets, and asked the FCC to closely review the pending transaction to ensure that it is in the public interest and promotes the FCC’s values of localism, competition and diversity on the airwaves.
House Democrats blasted FCC Chairman Ajit Pai on Monday over his announcement that the commission would move forward with the Trump administration’s petition to clarify the meaning of a law that grants tech companies a legal liability shield over content posted on their websites by third parties. Democratic leaders on the House Energy and Commerce Committee accused Pai of attempting to help a “flailing President Trump” through his decision to move forward with the administration’s push to clarify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.
Ranking Energy & Commerce Committee member Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.) has asked FCC Inspector General David Hunt to investigate what he said was FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s failure to disclose a conversation he had with White House General Counsel Don McGahn about the Sinclair-Tribune merger, suggesting it could have been a “coverup.” An FCC spokesperson says partisan Democrats are trying to beat a dead horse.
The congressman says the Viewer Protection Act is designed to protect broadcast television viewers and mobile broadband users.
The two House Democrats tell FCC Chairman Pai that restoring the UHF discount would further concentrate station ownership. They also say take a shot at Sinclair Broadcast Group.