The never-ending cross-ownership waiver extended again


Part of the quadrennial review of media ownership rules has been the provision of waivers for media companies that have broadcast and print operations in a single local market. Since it has proven to get any final resolution to the cross-ownership rules, or most others going back to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, what has occurred since are serial 90-day waivers for impacted companies.

A group of media companies, including Cox Enterprises, Inc.; Calvary, Inc.; Bonneville International Corp.; Scranton Times LP; and Morris Communications, have asked for a simple, open-ended waiver that would carry them through until the matter is finally resolved. The FCC keeps saying that it is considering this proposal, but until it finds the time to give the matter due consideration, it is granting yet another 90-day waiver of the rules.

The latest waiver will see cross-owned local combinations through to 4/4/11.

RBR-TVBR observation: The FCC release on which these waivers always come reference both the 2002 quadrennial review and the 2006 quadrennial review. There was also supposed to be a 2010 quadrennial review, but it has been booted forward into 2011. We are getting into Rip Van Winkle territory on this one – the legendary snoozer might have begun his nap and awoken to find the progress on the issue completely unchanged.