FCC’s cross purposes


It is time once again for the FCC to extend the time during which it will consider the request for an extension of time to maintain waivered cross-owned combinations pending the eventual, perhaps in our lifetime resolution of the cross-ownership proceeding, currently tied up in court.

The petitioners in this oft-repeated affair are Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Calvary, Inc.; Bonneville International Corp.; Scranton Times LP; and Morris Communications.

They would like to see local broadcast/print combinations currently operating under the blanket of an FCC waiver to be allowed to continue that arrangement until such time as the matter of cross-ownership is finally settled once and for all. After that momentous date, they would have 90 days to come into compliance with the final version of the regulations, if necessary.

 The FCC, once again, refused to rule on this request, instead kicking the ball forward about three months with a temporary waiver extension lasting until 10/9/09.

RBR/TVBR observation: The petitioners’ request is so sensible. Instead, we are on this 90-day treadmill. We hope that this constantly repeated notice is a matter of inertia, and not the FCC leaving the door open to suddenly refuse to extend waivers and force patently-unfair fire sales of assets while rulemakings remain bottled up.