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FCC OWNERSHIP RULES RELEASED.

The list reads like a "who's who" of newspaper companies: Belo Corp., Bliss Communications, Cox Enterprises Inc., Gannett Co. Inc., Hearst Corp., Herald Media Inc., Media General, Morris Communications, The New York Times Co., News Corp., Reading Eagle Co., Schurz Communications, The E.W. Scripps Co., Shamrock Communications and Tribune Co.

These are all companies that filed comments or replies with the Federal Communications Commission regarding the agency's rule-making on the cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast properties, according to the 56-page appendix to the 257-page ruling that was released last week regarding media concentration.

Though the rules were announced in June, the actual documents didn't get out until last Wednesday. They will take approximately two to three weeks to be published in the Federal Register and then will take effect 30 days after publication.

Of course the larger companies -- especially those which have not just newspaper holdings, but broadcast holdings as well -- are cited frequently throughout the rules, but even smaller companies such as Schurz are quoted extensively throughout the document.

Politicians and the courts will probably weigh in heavily on the new FCC rules and it is anticipated that before any company can benefit from the relaxation of media ownership, lawsuits will be filed and Congress will continue to attempt to legislate.

"There will be judicial appeals," Andrew Jay Schwartzman, president of a public interest law firm, Media Access Project, told Reuters last week. He also noted that litigation could be held up while the FCC considers likely requests for clarification or reconsideration of the new rules.

As they say, it ain't over until the weight-challenged diva warbles. The actual release of the rules is just another step in the trek of 1000 miles that it will take to get the government off the backs of businesspeople who attempt to make a profit in media.
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Publication:NewsInc
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 7, 2003
Words:306
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