Two Groups Suing FCC Over Ownership Rules


Prometheus Radio Project is locking horns with the FCC again. It’s taking the Commission to court over the deregulation of its broadcast media ownership rules and the loosening of other regulations. It is joined in the action by the Media Mobilizing Project, telling the Third Circuit that the agency slashed important diversity safeguards without ample justification and claiming that the FCC’s move “ignores evidence in the record, misinterprets evidence, and fails to consider important aspects of the record.” The groups also says that the Commission conducted its November 17 vote to cut ownership controls although years of record-keeping and previous court rulings suggested the move was unsupported.

The two organizations are calling on the court to reverse the decision and tell the FCC to “fully comply” with the court’s direction in remanding a previous quadrennial decision after Prometheus challenged it. The recent FCC decision under Pai did also initiate a rulemaking on creating a diversity incubator program and to consider the definition of eligible entity, but that did not cut it with Prometheus.

“The commission’s Reconsideration Order once again fails to satisfy this court’s remands in either Prometheus II or III,” it said in seeking the court review. “As was the case in the Second Report and Order, and despite this court’s instruction in Prometheus III to gather and analyze more ownership data if necessary, the commission did not collect such data or conduct the studies necessary to make a reasoned decision with respect to the impact of rule changes on ownership diversity and retained the revenue-based definition of ‘eligible entity’ previously found arbitrary and capricious by this court.”