FCC Implements SCOTUS Decision and Eliminates Several Cross Ownership and JSA TV Rules

Earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that the FCC’s 2017 decision regarding cross ownership rules was appropriate.  The Media Bureau has now issued an order complying with the Court’s decision.  In its decision the Media Bureau concluded:

 “As such, the Newspaper/Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule, the Radio/Television Cross-Ownership Rule, and the Television Joint Sales Agreement Attribution Rule are eliminated, and the Local Television Ownership Rule and Local Radio Ownership Rule are reinstated as adopted in the Order on Reconsideration. In addition, the eligible entity standard and its application to regulatory measures as set forth in the Second Report and Order are reinstated.  Finally, the regulatory measures adopted in the Incubator Order are reinstated.”

In effect, the FCC’s local radio and TV ownership limitations remain in place.  However, the FCC’s waiver approach to radio stations in embedded markets remains in place.  The FCC noted, “The presumption under the Local Radio Ownership Rule that would apply a two-prong test for waiver requests involving existing parent markets with multiple embedded markets is reinstated.”  In addition, The absolute ban on top-four television station combinations was also eliminated, returning to the case-by-case assessment adopted in 2017 for those proposals.

The rule changes are effective immediately.  To see the Media Bureau’s decision click HERE.


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