Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Democrats Decry 'Compromise' on FCC Rule (

Democrats Decry 'Compromise' on FCC Rule ( "'The Republicans went into a closet, met with themselves, and announced a 'compromise,' ' Sen. Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) said in a prepared statement. 'The Democrats and the conferees were ignored, and the press ought to be ashamed of calling it a 'compromise.' We weren't a part of it whatsoever.' "

Old rule 35%, new rule 45%. New ruled blocked by courts and Congress. 'Compromise' reached after Bush White House threatens first ever veto. I wonder how the pundits on Fox, et al. will react to this.

"Of the four networks, CBS and Fox already own groups of stations that exceed the 35 percent cap, with CBS at 39 percent and Fox at 38 percent. Stations owned by NBC reach about 35 percent of the country, while ABC's stations reach less than 25 percent.

CBS and NBC each declined to comment yesterday. Mel Karmazin, president of CBS parent Viacom Inc., has consistently argued against any cap, saying networks ought to be allowed to buy as many stations as they can afford.

Two of the four major television networks were mum yesterday on the deal. But Rupert Murdoch, chief executive of News Corp., which owns Fox, said after a shareholders' meeting yesterday that even though he hadn't reviewed details of the new cap, "on the face of it, it suits us just fine."

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