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Press Release of Senator Cantwell

Cantwell: We Must Turn Back New FCC Rules Leading to More Media Consolidation

FCC Continues to Ignore Consumers by Removing Diversity and Localism of Station Ownership

Wednesday, March 05,2008


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell lent her support to a resolution of disapproval introduced by Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) that makes null and void the Federal Communications Commission 's (FCC) new media ownership rules. In December of last year, the FCC eliminated its long-standing ban on the common ownership of a daily newspaper and a television or radio station in the same market for the nation's top 20 media markets and made it easier for waivers to the rules be granted in all markets.


“I am all for moving as quickly as possible on this and making sure our media sources stay diverse and independent,” said Cantwell.  “Increased media consolidation is not consistent with the public interest. The FCC's new rules will lead to increased cross ownership of newspapers and broadcast outlets that will open the gates to increased media consolidation in media markets of all sizes.  Today’s resolution is a step in the right direction, and I will continue working to make sure independent voices aren't drowned out." 


Cantwell, an original co-sponsor of the legislation, has expressed directly to Chairman Kevin Martin of the FCC her concerns that the FCC’s proposed new rules will increase media consolidation and hurt competition, diversity, and localism.  The resolution of disapproval is the first in a series of actions to have the FCC restore a deliberative and inclusive process to its media ownership rulemaking.


Chairman Martin introduced his proposed rules on November 13, 2007, four days after the FCC held a public hearing on media ownership in Seattle, where nearly 800 Washingtonians spent nine hours sharing their viewpoints with the FCC – the vast majority in strong opposition to increasing media concentration.


The legislation has 13 co-sponsors including Senators Snowe, Kerry, Collins, Dodd, Obama, Harkin, Clinton, Biden, Reed, Feinstein, Sanders, and Tester.


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