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Committee Correspondence
The Committee on Energy and Commerce
W.J. "Billy" Tauzin,  Chairman

Tauzin Heartened that there Is FCC Movement on all Broadcast Ownership Rules

 June 26, 2002 

The Honorable Michael K. Powell
Federal Communications Commission
445 Twelfth Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Dear Chairman Powell: 

Recently, I, along with my colleague, Chairman Upton, wrote to you urging the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) to complete expeditiously its  rulemaking on the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule.  The explosion of media sources since 1975, when the rule was first implemented, should eliminate lingering concerns regarding a lack of diversity of views in the marketplace and the need for greater media competition -- the principal justifications for the newspaper/broadcast cross ownership rule in the first place.  Indeed, the vast majority of commenters in this proceeding advocate repeal of this antiquated and unnecessary rule, noting in large part the dramatic changes in the media marketplace. 

I am disappointed with the Commission´s decision to defer what should be an immediate repeal of this outdated rule.  However, I am heartened that final resolution of all of the outstanding broadcast ownership issues --  in the form of an "omnibus" proceeding --  is on the horizon.  These rules were developed to address concerns of a by-gone era.  The enormously competitive and diverse environment within which all media outlets now exist - created by the growth of cable, satellite, and the Internet over the past two decades - demands a fundamental reexamination of the continuing validity of the assumptions underlying these rules.  Timely resolution of these ownership issues is absolutely essential to alleviating regulatory uncertainty in the marketplace, and will ensure that the broadcast ownership rules more accurately reflect and respond to today´s media marketplace.   As the Court has determined, if the Commission is to retain its media ownership rules in their present form, it must first justify their need.    

I commend the Commission for announcing its plans to move forward on a consolidated broadcast ownership rulemaking and seek your assurance that the Commission will take final action on the broadcast ownership rules no later than Spring of 2003.   

I appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to your response.  



W.J. "Billy" Tauzin
Committee on Energy and Commerce

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