Just as Rupert Murdoch’s play for Newsday brings media ownership regulations into the fore, a Senate panel has voted to reject recent moves by the FCC to relax cross-ownership rules. In the words of Senator Byron Dorgan, reports AP, the action of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee was meant to combat “galloping concentration” in media. But there’s a large gap between this and an actual rollback of the FCC rules. Beyond needing to clear Congress, it needs the president’s signature, and Bush has already threatened a veto. So for now, at least until there’s a new president, it’s mainly symbolic, witht little chance of the rule being overturned. The message to media bigs: get your deals done now while you still can.
Editor & Publisher notes that an equivalent House measure has been introduced.