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Walden and Yarmuth Introduce Bill Eliminating Disco Era Media Ownership Rules

Dec 7, 2016
Commonsense bill reflects today’s competitive marketplace, providing greater flexibility to newspapers and broadcasters

WASHINGTON, DC – Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and committee member Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) today introduced a bipartisan bill to repeal the newspaper broadcast cross-ownership ban.

Enacted in 1975, the cross-ownership rule prohibits ownership of both a broadcast station (AM, FM, TV) and a daily newspaper in the same market. Despite the fact that the FCC, in 2003, found the ban to no longer be in the public interest, the rule remains largely unchanged and hinders potential investment in struggling newspapers across the country. The bipartisan bill would eliminate the 1970s era cross-ownership ban to reflect today’s competitive media marketplace, providing greater flexibility to newspapers and broadcasters.

“This bipartisan effort finally acknowledges that our current media landscape is far different than it was nearly 50 years ago,” said Rep. Yarmuth. “As we’ve seen the rise in fake news and its consequences, it is increasingly important that we do all we can to protect legitimate sources of news. This legislation would give media entities the flexibility they need to compete and grow in this challenging marketplace.”

“Times have changed, and it’s critical our media ownership rules keep pace with the innovation era. This bipartisan bill is just the latest in our continued efforts to modernize outdated rules and promote investment in the communications sector,” said Chairman Walden. “Broadcasters and newspapers face intense competition from cable and the Internet. Eliminating this relic of the disco era will provide much needed flexibility to the many newspapers and broadcasters throughout the country that provide important local news coverage and encourage greater investment in original journalism. We want what’s best for consumers and this bill provides a thoughtful solution that puts the public’s interest first.”

To view the text of the bill, click HERE.

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