Big Win: FCC Ditches Media Consolidation Proposal

Rupert Murdoch just got some bad news from one of his own newspapers.

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Communications Commission is dropping its old plans to allow more media consolidation.

This is huge.

For the last year it looked like the FCC was going to change the one rule that was stopping Rupert Murdoch from buying up the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times and a handful of regional newspapers around the U.S.

Hundreds of thousands of you took action over the last year and it worked. First the FCC put its plans on hold; now it looks like it’s scrapping them altogether.

This is the third time in the last decade that Free Press members have helped beat back FCC attempts to allow more media consolidation.

But that’s not all.

This month has been full of good news for those who care about local journalism and media diversity. Two weeks ago, the FCC raised concerns about how the Sinclair Broadcast Group is exploiting loopholes and using fake “shell” companies to get its hands on more stations than the ownership rules permit. And this week the Justice Department raised similar concerns about the Gannett-Belo merger.

Both these actions are steps in the right direction but so far neither the FCC nor the DoJ has gone as far as they need to if they really want to turn the tide on covert consolidation. In addition to the Gannett and Sinclair deals, the FCC also has to decide on Tribune’s acquisition of Local TV. Then in 2014 the FCC has to start over with a new review of its ownership rules.

Momentum is shifting in our favor. Together we can — and must — keep the pressure on the FCC to take back the airwaves and put more local media back in the hands of local people.

Help fund the fight. Click here to support Free Press’ campaign to stop the merger madness. A generous donor will match all donations received by Dec. 31.

Original photo by Flickr user David Shankbone

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