Ex-fcc Chair Urges End To Cross-ownership Bans
Former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt has said that the time has come to put an end to the rule that prohibits companies from owning newspapers and television stations in the same marker. Speaking at UCLA Wednesday night, Hundt noted that these are difficult times financially for newspapers and if a profitable broadcaster wants to buy a newspaper in its city -- to expand the amount of attention it can obtain from an audience or just to have more impact on the way people think -- the FCC should welcome this extra support for the trouble-plagued newspaper industry. Hundt further alluded to the fact that the so-called duopoly or cross-ownership rule has the effect of barring someone like Rupert Murdoch from owning the Los Angeles Times but opens the door for conservative billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch to do so. I can't imagine anything good [coming] from the Koch family owning the Los Angeles Times, he said, accusing the brothers of using money and media to misinform, misdirect and make miserable all of us. And while he made it clear that he was no fan of Murdoch's, I'd rather have Murdoch than the Kochs own the Times, if it came down to that choice. He concluded: One of the glories of the United States -- one of the many things that make our system better than the system in China or Russia -- is that we truly do believe in free speech. ... When applied to media, that means we should honor the freedom to own the means of speech.