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Illinois Senator Lobbies FCC on Tribune’s Behalf

May 22, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Illinois’ congressional delegation is stepping in to urge the Federal Communications Commission to act “expeditiously” on Tribune’s request for waivers to keep TV stations it could lose as a result of the company’s sale.
In a letter sent May 18, Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. — joining 13 representatives, among them Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. — noted the FCC is reconsidering media ownership rules, including its existing ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership in a market, and urged quick action on the request.
While urging the FCC to act “in a timely fashion,” the letter doesn’t specifically ask the FCC to approve the waivers.
The purchase of Tribune Co. by an investors group headed by Sam Zell and an employee stock ownership plan puts the company’s ownership of WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune in Chicago into violation of the cross-ownership rule. Tribune also has cross-ownership issues with stations and newspapers in New York City, Hartford, Conn., Los Angeles and the Miami area from the company’s earlier purchase of Times Mirror’s newspapers.
Tribune has asked for waivers of the cross-ownership rules until the FCC resolves its media ownership rules. Consumer groups oppose the waivers.
(Editor: Horowitz)

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