Were you stranded on a tropical island last week? Lucky dog — we should be so lucky. But no, we were here staying on top of broadcast-related developments in Washington. Here’s a thumbnail sketch of what you missed.
* FCC Chairman Kevin Martin got his vote on Friday (see related story) granting Tribune cross-ownership waivers for two years or up to six months after all cross-ownership proceedings are concluded, at least in its top 20 markets (which may or may not mean excluding Hartford).
* The FCC backed off plans to address the many issues pertaining to the Third Circuit remand of media ownership rules, particularly in regard to increasing ownership among socially disadvantaged businesses; and also backed off new regulation for cable companies pending further study.
* It did take steps to promote LPFM and is studying the adoption of even more steps, and it set new public interest/localism reporting requirements for television stations.
* Both Congressional Commerce Committees set up oversight hearings, with the House pegged for 12/5/07 and the Senate on 12/13/07.
* The Commission’s open meeting on 12/18/07 is expected to feature a vote on Martin’s plan to end print/broadcast cross-ownership restrictions in the top 20 markets, an event Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) will try to head of at the pass with a bill being mark-up up in committee tomorrow, 12/4/07, which would delay the event until at least next May.