FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai says that despite the temporary hold on the commission’s review of its ownership rules, the proposal to stop broadcasters from using joint sales agreements to operate two stations in small markets “is very much on the table.”
The FCC should rule that virtual duopolies based on JSAs and SSAs are allowable only if the owners of the second stations are minorities or women. This would act as a powerful incentive for broadcasters to seek out such partners and give them the experience to eventually venture out on their own.
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai on a proposal to tighten up on the use of joint sales agreements and shared services agreements: “If the FCC effectively prohibits these agreements, fewer stations in small-town America will offer news programming, and they will invest less in newsgathering. And the economics suggest that there likely will be fewer television stations, period.”