What's In Store For FCC Media Ownership Deregulation

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Under Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission has set an aggressive agenda of relaxing or wholly scrapping rules intended to limit the influence of nationwide broadcasters and to keep media consolidation at bay.

The deregulatory efforts have been lauded by industry and media companies as a welcome relief that can help them stay competitive in a digital age increasingly fragmented by competition from online sources. Pai himself has said the regulations are outdated and that they must be deconstructed. But the agency's two Democratic commissioners as well as public advocacy groups assert that the actions specifically aid Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.'s proposed acquisition of Tribune Media Co., which would create a broadcasting empire capable of reaching more than 70 percent of American households. The FCC's inspector general has even launched an investigation to probe whether Pai rolled back media regulations specifically to benefit Sinclair.

In such a tumultuous environment, the way the FCC chooses to approach industry consolidation will only create wider ripple effects going forward. Here's a breakdown of key media ownership rules currently on the chopping block and where those proceedings are headed.


What's In Store For FCC Media Ownership Deregulation