THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
OCTOBER 02, 2020 6:59am PT by Eriq Gardner
The FCC gets the high court to review a lower court’s order to examine how deregulation would impact ownership of TV and radio stations by women and minorities.
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up cases examining media ownership rules. On Friday, the high court announced that it would be reviewing a lower court’s direction to the FCC to examine how proposed deregulation would impact ownership of TV and radio stations by women and minorities.
As part of a mandate under the Telecommunications Act, the FCC examines ownership rules every four years. Back in 2002, the media regulatory agency decided that in light of new media sources like the internet, it no longer made sense anymore to maintain a ban on a given company owning a local newspaper and broadcast station in a single market. The FCC also reconsidered its restrictions of ownership of multiple local television stations. But the FCC’s changes ran into the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals, which has since repeatedly put its foot down to attempts at deregulation.
“The Commission did not adequately consider the effect its sweeping rule changes will have on ownership of broadcast media by women and racial minorities,” wrote Judge Thomas Ambro of the 3rd Circuit in a ruling last September.
Both the FCC and the National Association of Broadcasters then petitioned the high court to look at the opinion from the 3rd Circuit.
The U.S. government argues that the lower appellate circuit has overstepped itself by turning a review of rules meant to ensure healthy competition of viewpoints into a test of what best promotes diversity