By John Eggerton, Multichannel News, 1-15-21

The FCC’s Office of Economics and Analytics has issued a working paper giving the next FCC something to think about when it decides whether to allow mergers that reduce the number of station owners in a market.

It is expected to be the last such working paper issued under chairman Ajit Pai, who is exiting the FCC Jan. 20.

The paper, which was issued only days before the FCC heads to the Supreme Court to  defend its efforts to deregulate TV station ownership, looks at the relationship between the number of independently owned local television news operations and market size and the size thresholds above which a market would be able to sustain economically two, three, four, or more such operations. “In some markets, there may be a tradeoff between localism and diversity,” the paper said.  » Read More