For the second time recently, the FCC Media Bureau has granted an extention of time for companies seeking waivers of the cross-ownership rule to file amendments to their petitions. The new date falls at the end of the first week of 2009, on 1/7/09, replacing a 12/8/08 deadline, which alert readers will note was yesterday. The companies include Cox, Bonneville, Calvary, Morris Communications and Scranton Times. They want waivers to the broadcast/newspaper cross-ownership rule maintained until 80 days after a final court ruling on the various challenges to the FCC’s rule as modified last December.
RBR/TVBR observation: As we’ve stated many times, no company should be forced to spin off a legally-acquired asset while rules changes are trapped on the Washington merry-go-round of regulatory agencies, Congress and the courts. We can add in a reality check for today and for the immediate future – no amount of government or court ordering will conjure up any buyers for the assets they may wish to see spun.