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FCC Chairman Proposes Changes to Media Ownership Rules





The head of the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday laid out new plans to alter a 30-year ban on cross-ownership in media outlets. In a deregulatory proposal introduced by Chairman Kevin J. Martin, the FCC would allow an entity to own both a newspaper and one radio or television station, but only in the nation's top 20 markets. The plan is intended to assist the newspaper industry, which is suffering from a sharp decline in readers and revenue, while addressing concerns about the ramifications of media consolidation on news coverage. The controversial plan has received criticism from all sides, including lawmakers who say it would lead to too much media concentration, and from the Newspaper Association of America saying that the proposal "does not go nearly far enough" to help their ailing industry.

* Corey Boles, reporter for the Dow Jones Newswires