FCC agrees to complete localism proceeding before ownership vote

[UPI]

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission has agreed to complete a study on local media ownership before making any future rules changes, a report said.

TVWeek.com reported that FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin has agreed to complete the study, which was begun in 2003, before the FCC makes any significant ownership rules changes.

Commissioned by former FCC Chairman Michael J. Powell, the study will likely appease members of the U.S. Congress and national consumer groups that have long petitioned for such a report.

"We understand that you intend to gather comments that were submitted and incorporate them into the media ownership inquiry while going no further with the localism proceeding. This potential course of action would cause us grave concern," a letter from members of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee said. "The FCC must first establish that there are sufficient mechanisms in place to ensure that broadcasters are serving their local community before considering any changes."

In addition, the congressional committee has announced an upcoming hearing on key FCC issues, the Web site said.

article originally published at http://www.playfuls.com/news_0004368_FCC_To_Precede_Changes_With_Localism_Study.....

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