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Radio Survivor

The FCC was back in front of the 3rd Cir­cuit Court of Appeals again, defend­ing its fail­ure to address declines in minor­i­ty- and women-owned broad­cast sta­tions, amongst oth­er fail­ures. In fact, as our guest, Uni­ver­si­ty of Min­neso­ta Prof. Christo­pher Ter­ry, explains, the Com­mis­sion claims it’s too hard to assess the change in own­er­ship between 1996 and today.

Prof. Ter­ry notes that the Court expressed skep­ti­cism of that claim. It’s just anoth­er chap­ter in the agency’s lega­cy of fail­ure,” as he calls it, where­in futile attempt fol­lowed by futile attempt to fur­ther loosen own­er­ship reg­u­la­tions is built upon a faulty foun­da­tion of flim­sy data. Yet, that doesn’t mean that the cur­rent FCC lead­er­ship, backed by the broad­cast indus­try, won’t keep try­ing. We’ve already seen this in the NAB’s pro­pos­al to elim­i­nate local radio own­er­ship caps in hun­dreds of cities, as we report­ed in episode #196. Prof. Ter­ry sheds addi­tion­al light on that pro­pos­al, and assess­es what a recent Supreme Court deci­sion means for pub­lic access television.