Movement in the FCC perpetual cross-ownership waiver program


Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Calvary, Inc.; Bonneville International Corp.; Scranton Times LP; and Morris Communications have an interest in broadcast/print cross-ownership, and for years now they’ve been asking the FCC for a blanket waiver that would allow existing combinations to exist until the matter is decided one way the other. At long last, the FCC actually has a new response for them.

Quarter after quarter, year after year, the FCC has said it’s thinking about it and then kicked the ball forward three months. But this time, interested parties are trying to get the Supreme Court to finally enter into the fray, and it has opened up a new response for the Commission to the group of petitioners.

“Multiple parties are now pursuing such judicial challenges before the Supreme Court; however, the Court has not yet made a determination whether to grant any or all of the pending petitions for a writ of certiorari,” wrote the FCC’s Media Bureau. “The Bureau previously extended the filing deadline on an interim basis to provide additional time for the Commission to consider the Media Parties’ request. We now extend the deadline for these filings until either (1) 90 days after a denial by the Supreme Court of all of the pending petitions for a writ of certiorari or (2) in the event that the Supreme Court grants certiorari in any of those cases, 90 days after a final judgment that (a) is not subject to further judicial review or appeal and (b) disposes of the pending judicial challenges to the Commission’s modified newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Does this mean an end is in sight for this matter? Don’t ask us, but at least it’s something different.