The Senate voted tonight to invalidate the FCC’s decision to loosen the newspaper-broacast cross-ownership rule.
Since the FCC approved the lifting of the 32 yr-old ban on Dec. 18, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) has been lobbying hard for a reversal, arguing that media consolidation has led to a lack of localism and diversity.
B&C reports the measure passed on a voice vote, with Dorgan saying the vote sent the signal to the FCC to “get things right.”
FCC commissioner Michael Copps expressed praise at the move: “The Senate spoke for a huge majority of Americans tonight by voting to overturn the flawed FCC decision gutting our long-standing ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership…With courageous leaders like Sen. Byron Dorgan, the Senate has struck a blow for localism and diversity in a media environment crying out for more of both.”
Senators and presidential candidates Clinton and Obama are among the co-sponsors of the resolution, which now must be voted on by the House. The Bush administration, which supports the FCC decision, is against the resolution and has said it would likely veto it.