FCC expected to OK media ownership plan

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A contentious vote is expected by the Federal Communications Commission tomorrow on allowing broadcasters in the nation's 20 largest media markets to also own a newspaper.

That's been banned for 32 years. FCC chairman Kevin Martin calls the proposed change "relatively minor loosening."

The cross-ownership ban was approved by the FCC in 1975 to serve "the twin goals of diversity of viewpoints and economic competition."

Opponents of the ban say in the past decade there has been an explosion of news outlets thanks to cable television and the Internet and that such restrictions are no longer necessary. Supporters say there may be new outlets, but there has been no corresponding increase in news gatherers and producers, especially at the local level.

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