By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 9-23-19

Washington was abuzz Monday (Sept. 23) after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated the FCC’s most recent effort to deregulate broadcast ownership, which the FCC under various, usually Republican, chairs, has been trying to do for most of the past two decades. 

The court threw out a deregulatory November 2017 order that eliminated the newspaper-broadcast and the radio-TV cross-ownership rules; allows dual station ownership in markets with fewer than eight independent voices after the duopoly, creating an opportunity for ownership of two of the top four stations in a market on a case-by-case basis (the FCC is not calling it a waiver); eliminates attribution of joint sales agreements as ownership; and creates an incubator program…. 

The court not only sent the order back to the FCC, but vacated the rule changes, meaning no further consolidation can occur that includes combining radio and TV and broadcast and newspapers, at least or until the FCC has sufficiently gauged those and other changes’ impact on gender and racial diversity.  » Read More