FreePress.org reports that the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to overturn a Federal Communications Commission decision that would let media companies own newspapers and television station in the same cities. The FCC decided to lift the so-called cross ownership rules in December to permit further consolidation on the argument that old media needed to get bigger to fight off the Internet — as clearly worked for the dinosaurs.
The House has yet to act on its version of the resolution and the White House has threatened a veto, Free Press says. So the FCC action allowing greater media consolidation is still on track and the burden is on opponents to derail their administrative edict.
This battle is a repeat of one fought in 2003 when the FCC previously voted to relax cross ownership rules. According to Wikipedia:
The decision by the FCC was overturned by the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in the decision Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC in June, 2004. The Majority ruled 2-1 against the FCC and ordered the Commission to reconfigure how it justified raising ownership limits. The Supreme Court later turned down an appeal, so the ruling stands.
Last December the FCC again voted to lift the cross ownership rules, setting off the process now underway. FreePress concluded its report on Thursday’s Senate vote saying “At this watershed moment, public outrage against Big Media has reached a breaking point.”
We shall see.