FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is determined to put new rules on media cross ownership to a vote tomorrow, December 18th despite bi-partisan voiced oppostion and threats from Congress. Martin set the date a year ago for a final vote which would ultimately make it easier for one company to own radio,TV and newspapers in a single market.
With a 3-2 Republican majority the new rules are expected to pass. Democrats are particularly opposed to any loosening of the restrictions. Last Thursday, the Senate Commerce Committee warned of congressional action if Martin changes the rules. Republican Trent Lott and Byron Dorgan had introduced a bill requiring Martin to delay the vote for 90 days, but it was impossible to get it passed by the 18th. John Kerry and John Rockefeller in the Senate and John Dingell in the House have told Martin to delay to vote. Dingall, the chairman of the House Commerce Committee sent a letter to Martin telling him his Oversight and Investigation subcommittee will launch a probe on the actions. But, Martin seems unphased and barring some new move from Congress will take the vote.New York Times has an editorial on this issue today..click here..