Media Ownership Plan to Get Review Under New FCC Chief

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission withdrew a stalled proposal to ease media-ownership limits so its new chairman can study the changes, a spokesman said.

The FCC, which must periodically review ownership rules, will move “expeditiously” after review by officials including Chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat who took office last month, Justin Cole, an FCC spokesman, said in an interview today.

Only one of the FCC’s five members was on the commission when former Chairman Julius Genachowski won a preliminary vote for the rule changes in December 2011. Genachowski asked for a final vote in November 2012, and the proposal stalled as Democrats said it goes too far and Republicans said it doesn’t go far enough.

The proposals include allowing common ownership of a daily newspaper and a TV station in the 20 biggest cities, according to two officials briefed on the plan.

The rules package is the FCC’s third effort in a decade to rewrite media-ownership rules. Two previous efforts failed before courts.

The proposal’s withdrawal was reported earlier by Communications Daily, an industry trade publication.