"The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC or Commission) broadcast media ownership rules are intended to foster the three long-standing goals of U.S. media policy -- competition, localism, and diversity of voices. The FCC has the statutory obligation to review these rules every four years to determine if they continue to serve the public interest or should be modified or eliminated. In December 2007, the FCC adopted an order that modified only one of its broadcast media ownership rules -- the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule -- and left the other rules intact. [...] In its previous quadrennial review, in June 2003, the FCC modified five of its broadcast media ownership rules, easing restrictions on the ownership of multiple television stations (nationally and in local markets) and on local media cross-ownership, and tightening restrictions on the ownership of multiple radio stations in local markets. Those rules have never gone into effect. Sec. 629 of the FY2004 Consolidated Appropriations Act (P.L. 108-199) instructed the FCC to modify its new National Television Ownership rule to allow a broadcast network to own and operate local broadcast stations that reach, in total, at most 39% of U.S. television households. In June 2004, the United States Court of Appeal for the Third Circuit, in 'Prometheus Radio Project vs. Federal Communications Commission', found that the FCC did not provide reasoned analysis to support its specific local ownership limits, and also that the FCC failed to address the impact of it new rules on minority ownership of broadcast stations, and therefore remanded portions of the new local ownership rules back to the FCC and extended its stay of those rules."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34416
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