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"Local station owners and some big media companies have complained that federal rules — originally enacted in part to ensure a diversity of views — have hindered their efforts to grow and compete at a time when online competitors have made major inroads," The Wall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