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NCC's Challenge to FCC Policies Wins in Court: 
Media Consolidation Rules Must Be Rewritten

June 24, 2004, NEW YORK CITY -- In a lengthy decision of more than 200 pages, the Third District Court June 24 ruled that the Federal Communications Commission's attempts to accelerate the corporate consolidation of America's mass media industry are not justified in terms of law or policy, and do not serve the public interest.

The winning petition's sponsoring groups including the NCC Communication Commission, several public interest organizations, and the Prometheus Radio Project, a national, grassroots alliance of community broadcasters will now push for the FCC to use the court testimony in shaping new ownership rules that will preserve and protect diversity and localism in the media.

In requiring the FCC to reverse its controversial 2003 decision relaxing the regulation of corporate control of the newspaper, television and radio industries, the Court said the FCC relied on "irrational assumptions and inconsistencies" in setting standards for cross-ownership of multiple broadcast and print outlets in local markets. 

It mandated a new decision that takes seriously the FCC's duty to regulate media to "preserve the public interest." The case was argued on behalf of the NCC and its partner plaintiffs by prominent telecommunications attorney Andrew Jay Schwarzman of Media Access Project, a co-sponsor of the petition.

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NCC Media Contact: Carol Fouke, 212-870-2252; cfouke@ncccusa.org


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