Court Hears Argument In TV Dereg Challenge

FCC media ownership deregulation took its latest trip to Philadelphia Tuesday (June 11) as the FCC defended its most recent rule changes against a challenge by Prometheus Radio Project in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. The FCC defended its efforts, or in Prometheus’ view, its lack of them, on diversity.

Court Won’t Stand In Way Of Ownership Dereg

It says petitioners Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project failed to show “a clear and indisputable abuse of discretion or error of law, a lack of an alternate avenue for adequate relief, and a likelihood of irreparable injury.”

Court Asked To Delay Ownership Changes

The deregulatory changes the FCC recently adopted to its media ownership rules are due to take effect on Feb. 7. Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project, however, have filed an appeal of those rule changes in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and, as expected, have now asked the court to delay the FCC’s implementation of those changes.

FCC Ownership Rule Changes Appealed

In November, the FCC eliminated the rule requiring that eight independent TV voices remain in a market before a TV duopoly would be approved, eliminated the newspaper/broadcast and radio/television crossownership rules, and made other changes. Now, Prometheus Radio Project and Media Mobilizing Project, public interest groups who have been opponents of relaxation in the FCC’s broadcast ownership rules, have filed the first petition for review of that action.

FCC’s Media Ownership Rules In Limbo

The Prometheus Radio Project was back in court Thursday, hoping to convince a panel of three federal judges to crank-up the way back machine and reverse the FCC’s decision to loosen the ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership.