How media law could drive a wedge between Donald Trump and the Republican Congress

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Soon-to-be House Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) and Rep John Yarmuth (R-KY) want to repeal a long-standing ban on media consolidation, calling it a “disco era” rule that prevents struggling local media outlets from surviving in an increasingly-competitive market for information. Their legislation takes aim at a 41-year-old rule that prohibits a company from owning both a newspaper and a radio or television station in the same market. Critics of media ownership consolidation have included President-elect Donald Trump, who during his campaign lashed out at the proposed deal to combine AT&T with media titan Time Warner. Repealing the media ownership ban is necessary to help smaller voices stay economically competitive, according to proponents.

But critics of consolidation, such as Trump, have worried that the trend could lead to the crowding out of conservative voices. Trump's previously stated opposition to media consolidation raises questions about his position on the bill from Reps Walden and Yarmuth. Although the media cross-ownership ban applies only to ownership of newspapers and broadcast media, not cable, the walls that have traditionally divided these companies into silos are rapidly collapsing.


How media law could drive a wedge between Donald Trump and the Republican Congress