Further observations on the court ownership ruling


Commentary continues to trickle in regarding the Third Circuit ruling on the FCC rulemaking attempts impacting media ownership rules. In general, most of those going on the record seem happy with the court’s decision to uphold current local limits and send cross-ownership back for a redo, along with taking another look at policy to increase ownership diversity.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (pictured) stated, “Today’s decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to vacate and remand the Commission’s 2008 Diversity Order, because it did not take sufficient steps to increase participation in the broadcasting industry by new entrants and small businesses, including minority and women-owned businesses, sends the important message that ownership diversity remains an important aspect of the overall media ownership regulatory framework. As the Court noted, the current Commission has taken steps towards gathering updated studies on ownership diversity as part of its 2010 Quadrennial Review proceeding. I hope this Court decision will serve to encourage all of us at the Commission to take a laser like focus on the necessary and long awaited need for robust ownership studies and thoughtful recommendations to advance diverse voices in America’s media market place.”

MMTC’s David Honig voiced similar concerns, saying, “Today, in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC, the Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a resounding reaffirmance of the profound value of minority and women ownership of broadcast facilities, and of the FCC’s responsibility to be much more aggressive in pursuing this vital national goal. MMTC looks forward to working closely with the FCC to assist the agency in rapidly following through on the Court’s instructions.”

Brandy Doyle of Prometheus Radio Project, which will go down in history for bringing the ownership case to the Third Circuit, said, “Media matters. Thousands of people fought to pass the Local Community Radio Act, and thousands more spoke out loudly when the FCC tried to further consolidate broadcast media. We’ve won these battles, but we must continue to push the FCC to do the right thing for community radio. Industry voices always have the ear of the FCC, but thanks to the nationwide clamor for a better media, we have their attention now.”