Free Press: Flawed MMTC Study Does Not Accurately Measure Impact of Gutting Media Ownership Rules

Contact Info: 

Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 ext. 35

WASHINGTON -- On Thursday, the Minority Media Telecommunications Council (MMTC) released a study on the consequences of weakening the Federal Communications Commission's media ownership rules. Former FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski paused the agency's long-running review of media ownership rules earlier this year to await the results of the MMTC study.

Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood made the following statement:

"Study after study has shown that consolidation limits opportunities for diversity on the airwaves. A rigorous study — one that would satisfy the clear instructions to the FCC from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit  — would have examined the likely impact of specific ownership rule changes on local media markets. The study submitted today is not a substitute for the kind of independent research the FCC must conduct before it even considers changes to the media ownership limits.

"MMTC based its conclusions on an opinion survey of existing media owners. This qualitative approach might have yielded some interesting anecdotes, but it's not a substitute for real analysis of likely outcomes from the disastrous rule changes pushed by former Chairman Genachowski. We'll review the survey, and take part if and when the FCC seeks comment on it. But there's nothing surprising about the fact that MMTC — a group on the record as supporting more media consolidation — would design and produce a survey claiming that no harm results from consolidation."
 

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