Speed Reads

Trump TV

Trump's FCC is on the verge of allowing the return of local media monopolies

The Federal Communications Commission is prepared to vote next month on trimming or eliminating regulations that limit the ownership of multiple TV stations or newspapers in a single market, The Wall Street Journal reports. The President Trump-appointed FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, has framed the decision as being a 21st-century brush-up to national media rules, some of which have gone unchanged since the 1970s.

"Local station owners and some big media companies have complained that federal rules — originally enacted in part to ensure a diversity of views — have hindered their efforts to grow and compete at a time when online competitors have made major inroads," The Wall Street Journal writes.

Other major changes are also afoot. On Tuesday, the FCC voted to scrap a longstanding rule that required local TV and radio stations to have a physical studio in the region they serve. "Technology allows broadcast stations to produce local news even without a nearby studio," Pai explained. On the other hand, Variety writes that "critics say [the change] will help media companies further consolidate their operations and even be a boost to the ambitions of Sinclair Broadcast Group," a conservative company that has been branded by progressive publications like Mother Jones as "Trump TV."