FCC’s Martin Posts Media Ownership Studies

Dec 29, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin moved Friday to deflect congressional charges that the FCC repressed unfavorable media ownership studies by posting online a new FCC study along with studies the commission did back to 1982.

The FCC’s media bureau suggested in a statement Friday that some of the older studies could be “internal documents” and might be withheld. It said that responding to the chairman’s request it was releasing the reports in an exercise of discretion “in light of the unique circumstances present in this instance – principally, the FCC’s current consideration of the media ownership rules and the very strong level of public interest in this proceeding.”

The earlier studies were done before Mr. Martin became chairman.

Controversy over the FCC’s studies began earlier this year when Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., asked a surprised Mr. Martin about why the FCC had never released a 2004 study saying locally owned stations provide more news and information.

Mr. Martin said he knew nothing about the study or a second one on radio that was also not released by the FCC.

The results of both studies conflicted with the FCC’s push to ease media ownership under former chairman Michael J. Powell.

The new study released Friday was a technical one suggesting a mathematical model for analyzing video competition.

The posts can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/ownership/additional.html.

(Editor: Grego)