Let's see, Julius Genachowski is an Obama guy, while Kevin Martin was appointed by Bush. Why again do I think political parties matter?
FCC Chair Julius Genachowski is reportedly circulating a proposal that would scrap the agency's rules limiting companies from owning TV and radio stations in the same market with a watered-down stipulation for TV stations and newspapers....
Observers say Genachowski's plan is similar to the one devised by former FCC Chair Kevin Martin in 2008....
The article continues:
Ah, the voice of the public's interest. From a lobby group no less. And pointing out there are anti-trust violations. Don't they understand, we no longer hate unfettered capitalists doing what they do best? In this case make the cost of me watching television skyrocket.
In a related move, the American Television Alliance (ATVA) met with FCC representatives late last week in hopes of convincing the agency to gather additional information on how current ownership rules allow what ATVA sees as shady broadcaster business practices, especially with regard to retransmission consent. The group says its members have "documented at least 56 instances in which Big Four network affiliates are operating under some form of sharing agreement, and at least 36 pairs of broadcast stations in 33 different markets engaging in coordinated carriage negotiations through the use of a single bargaining representative."
These coordinated negotiations, the ATVA says, violate the Commission's media ownership rules. The group holds that such practices decrease competition in local markets and allow station owners to demand higher retrans fees "not through increasing programming quality but by increasing bargaining leverage." As a result, the group says, "cable and satellite TV providers, who are charged higher retransmission consent fees, often must pass these increased costs along to consumers, who are ill-served by stations that have less incentive to respond to conditions in local markets."