NAB is calling for federal regulators to relax rules prohibiting companies from owning two of the top four TV stations in a market, in order to reflect "the tectonic shift in the media landscape." Meanwhile, CBS wants TV and radio outlets to be able to have the same ownership, and Bonneville International and Cox Media Group are among those calling for the end of the radio-newspaper cross-ownership ban.
The very idea of public ownership of the airwaves "is a mischievous notion that has been misused as a rationalization for government regulation," writes media attorney Erwin Krasnow in an opinion piece in the Speaking Freely series of The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression and The Media Institute. Broadcasting is relegated to second-class status by the FCC under this "discredited concept," according to Krasnow.
The FCC, under an amendment to a spending bill from U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, would be blocked from allocating funds to enact network neutrality rules. The attachment, which has the support of seven other Republican senators, would "prohibit the FCC from using any appropriated funds to adopt, implement or otherwise litigate any network neutrality based rules, protocols or standards." The FCC did not comment for this post.
Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., former chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is the latest lawmaker to announce his opposition to the FCC's proposal add new rules for broadband providers. A group of 74 Democrats on Monday sent a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, urging him to back down from his plan to impose the new regulations.
A group of advertising organizations, in a joint letter to the FCC, has asked the commission not to vote today to issue a proposed rulemaking on TV product placements, saying there is no evidence that the practice harms or deceives consumers. Rather, the groups have asked that the FCC instead launch an inquiry to gather objective information on the practice.