Court Lifts Ban on FCC’s “Cross Ownership” Restrictions

A federal appeals court on Tuesday temporarily suspended rules prohibiting companies from owning a newspaper and television station in the same market.

According to an Associated Press report, the ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit removes the Federal Communication Commission’s “cross ownership” ban restriction.

The AP report notes,

That restriction had remained in effect under a stay issued by the court in 2003 as it has tried to sort out legal challenges to attempts by two previous FCC chairmen, Republicans Michael Powell and Kevin Martin, to relax the rules.

The decision comes as the current FCC, now under Democratic control, gears up for its next congressionally mandated review of its media ownership rules. Those rules, which the agency must review every four years, include the cross-ownership ban and limits on the number of television and radio stations that one company can own in a market.

In the meantime, some media companies already own newspapers and television stations in the same market because they were grandfathered in when the rules were first put into place in 1974.

Read the rest of the AP report, here.