It came down to a 3-2 vote, with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and the two other FCC Republican commissioners voting in favor of allowing broadcasters in the nation’s s 20 largest media markets to also own a newspaper. The vote lifts a 32 yr-old ban on broadcast and newspaper cross-ownership in a single city.
Despite pressure from House and Senate members on Capitol Hill and multiple community groups to delay it, Martin pushed the vote through.
Several senators, including four Republicans, sent Martin a letter threatening to move legislation that would nullify the commission’s ruling.
The FCC first tried to loosen the ban in 2003, but the move was rejected by a federal appeals court.
The Free Press, a non-profit advocacy group against the lifting of the ban has already started a campaign, involving the collection of signatures to reverse the ruling.