The House of Representatives has passed a bill that reaffirms Congress’ commitment to media diversity and strategy of working with media organizations to better represent the American people. The bill, H. Res 549, was introduced in 2019 by Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.). It’s official wording is: “[A] resolution reaffirming the commitment of the House of Representatives to media diversity … and pledges to work with media entities and diverse stakeholders to develop common ground solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity.”
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.”
There was no doubt that the FCC would wait until after the election to deal with the always controversial review of media ownership rules that have been in and out of court since 2008. On Wednesday, the FCC confirmed that Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a proposed order of the rules for a vote among the other four commissioners. The FCC is about two years behind schedule on congressional requirements that the rules be reviewed every four years.
In 2011, 53 TV stations changed hands, the highest number in four years. The year also saw the sale of 71 daily newspapers as part of 11 transactions, the busiest year for sales since 2007. Pew breaks out the top news companies in its media ownership dashboard.