News that the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to issue a Notice of Proposed Rule Making to examine cross ownership restrictions was greeted with enthusiasm by officials at the Newspaper Association of America, which is fighting to have the ban repealed.
"This is very welcome news and long overdue," said NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm. "We have been urging the FCC to reexamine this outdated and onerous restriction for many years. With the ever-expanding number and types of media voices today, there simply is no reason that justifies continuation of the cross-ownership ban.
"It's been close to two years since the FCC -- under its former chairman - - relaxed the rules for local broadcast ownership; all those except for cross ownership, that is. It's time now for the commission to allow local newspaper publishers to compete for acquisition of television and radio stations in their markets," Sturm added. "NAA and its members will work hard to establish a record that will convince the FCC that repeal of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban is in the public interest."
NAA is a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. Most NAA members are daily newspapers, accounting for 87 percent of the U.S. daily circulation. Headquartered in Tysons Corner (Vienna, Va.), the Association focuses on six key strategic priorities that affect the newspaper industry collectively: marketing, public policy, diversity, industry development, newspaper operations and readership. Information about NAA and the industry may also be found at the Association's World Wide Web site on the Internet (http://www.naa.org ).