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FCC To Vote On Media Ownerhip

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Monday, June 2nd is a big day for media conglomerate

Clear Channel Communications. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is

expected to vote next month on new media-ownership rules which would likely

break the company’s stronghold on certain radio markets nationwide.

Clear Channel, which operates 1,225 radio stations and 39 television stations

in the United States, could see its reach in the radio sector shortened if the

FCC’s new rules require it sell some of its stations. I

n 1996, the FCC passed the Telecommunications

Act which eased restrictions on radio ownership in hopes that it would aid the

struggling industry.

Several years since, profit margins are unquestionably

healthy for several companies, but deregulation has caused many to question

the legislation’s role on decreased competition.

Clear Channel is one company that has clearly thrived under the new deregulation.

Before 1996, the company owned and/or operated less than 100 radio stations

across the country.

Since then, the company has accelerated its growth

by acquiring radio stations in various markets and purchasing sizable interests

in companies which own and operate multiple outlets across the globe.

The FCC, headed by Michael K. Powell (son of

Secretary of State Colin Powell), is expected to conduct a five commissioner

vote on the matter during their biennial review next month.

Two of the commissioners, Michael Copps and Jonathan

Adelstein have requested that the June 2nd meeting be delayed to allow for the

gathering of more information.

In a public statement, however, Republican commissioner Kathleen Abernathy "respectfully

opposed" their requests stating, "We have compiled a thorough and

comprehensive record in this proceeding, which includes over 18,000 comments,

12 studies and testimony from a number of broadcast ownership hearings. We have

provided notice of the rules we are reviewing, and the comments in the record

reflect an understanding of these issues. I am satisfied that we have the information

and the input we need to make a sound, judicially sustainable decision that

will benefit the public interest."

For more information about Clear Channel and

the Federal Communications Commission, visit http://www.clearchannel.com and http://www.fcc.gov,

respectfully.

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