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Media Bureau Seeks Comment on MMTC Diversity Study

June 10, 2013

On June 7, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC or Commission) Media Bureau issued a public notice seeking comment on the study conducted by BIA/Kelsey for the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) entitled, "The Impact of Cross Media Ownership on Minority/Women Owned Broadcast Stations."

The MMTC study was commissioned for the FCC's 2010 quadrennial review of its media ownership rules.  Early this year, then-Chairman Julius Genachowski circulated a draft order in the Commission's ownership and diversity proceedings that would have: (1) maintained the limits on the number of television and radio stations a single entity can own in a single market and on the number of major broadcast networks a single entity could own; (2) provided ownership preferences for small businesses in furtherance of diversity; (3) established criteria for waiving the prohibition against cross-ownership of certain TV-newspaper combinations; and (4) eliminated the prohibition on cross-ownership of radio stations and newspapers.

On February 25, 2013, MMTC sent a letter to the FCC asking the agency to defer a vote on the draft order so that MMTC could conduct a study "of whether, and to what extent, cross-ownership might have a material adverse impact on minority and women ownership."  The following day, then-Chairman Genachowski agreed, observing that the proposed MMTC study "addresses an issue of importance, will augment the record, and will assist the Commission in resolving the issues before it on the full record."  The study was completed in May and submitted by MMTC to the FCC on May 30, 2013, along with a request that the FCC seek comment on it.

Comments on the MMTC study are due by July 22, 2013 and reply comments are due by August 6, 2013.

If you have questions about the MMTC study or are interested in filing comments in these proceedings, please contact one of the attorneys listed below or the Wiley Rein attorney who regularly handles your FCC matters.