Sources: Pai Teeing Up Media Ownership Order

According to multiple industry sources, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is working on a media ownership order that, according to a broadcast industry source, would allow newspaper-broadcast and radio-TV cross-ownership.

The item also could remove the prohibition on owning two of the top four-rated stations in a market, and “tweak” the eight-voices test for allowing duopolies (two stations in a market owned by a single entity).

Currently newspaper-TV and radio-TV combinations cannot be co-owned in the same market, with the exception of some grandfathered combos. The duopoly restrictions currently prohibit common ownership of two TV stations in a market if it would result in fewer than eight independent outlets, which means no station co-ownership in smaller markets. Reducing the number of independent voices (stations) in a market would expand the number of markets where dual ownership would be allowed.

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