Connoisseur Media chief Jeff Warshaw wants changes to the embedded market rule that affects New York and Washington, DC. He’s addressing the issue to the FCC, including this July 5 letter.
The NAB is backing the move.
Warshaw has been championing the cause for several years, seeing it as being against the public interest and competition. Currently, the FCC determines whether a company meets ownership limits by looking at the number of stations it owns in the embedded market and the those it owns in the larger Nielsen metro overall. Warshaw is petitioning the FCC to instead evaluate ownership limits within embedded markets on their own, and only evaluate core market stations if a broadcaster owns stations in both the embedded market and the larger market overall.
Connoisseur says ratings data shows people living in one such market rarely listen to a station targeting another embedded market and that ratings show embedded market stations are not significant competitors in the core markets since their signals often don’t cover them entirely, and points out that Census Bureau commuting pattern information shows people spend little time traveling from one embedded market to another.
Like many of his peers, Warshaw is frustrated that the industry continues to operate under regulations adopted in the pre-Internet era. “I don’t think there should be any ownership limits for radio,” he said. “The reality is no matter how many radio stations someone has in a market they don’t have a monopoly.”