Martin Wants Review of Media Ownership Rules

Jan 20, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin on Friday said he hoped to launch a review of the agency’s media ownership rules this year-if he can forge a consensus among the commissioners on how to proceed. During an impromptu briefing with reporters, Mr. Martin said he tried to get the ball rolling against the rules last year but was unable to get a consensus among the two Republican and two Democratic commissioners at the agency on how to proceed. It’s widely anticipated that a third Republican commissioner will be appointed to the agency this year, giving Mr. Martin the vote he needs to command an agency majority. “Until there is a consensus reached among any three of us, I don’t think we’ll be able to move forward,” Mr. Martin said. Mr. Martin also said he shared concerns that the cable industry’s recently announced family-friendly programming tiers lack sports and other important industry fare that many observers believe could be critical to their success in the marketplace. “I’m a big sports fan,” Mr. Martin said, “but I think it is important that we’ve seen some family tiers at least being offered. That’s a really important step.”