Dorgan pushes back


"The Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put forward what I’m sure he regards as a reasonable compromise on the issue of media consolidation," said Byron Dorgan (D-ND). "He is specifically proposing to allow further concentration in the top 20 markets in the U.S., allowing the newspaper and a broadcast television station to be owned by the same company. But he has yet to make the case for why any further media consolidation is necessary. Indeed, he is relying on an assumption that newspapers are doomed and that cross-ownership is necessary to save them. I believe this is not the case. He has also failed to make the case that cross ownership will be beneficial to local communities — that requires an understanding of how ownership affects local coverage." He said that the localism proceeding is yet to be completed and that he and Trent Lott (R-MS) would continue to push legislation to slow him down.

RBR/TVBR observation: You’d think Copps, Adelstein and Dorgan would take the near total rollback of the 6/2/03 rulemaking as a major victory, particularly in light of the Third Circuit’s near-blessing on cross-owned pairs. But apparently the consolidation wars are not yet over. Stay tuned.