Why did the appellate court overturn the FCCs evisceration of the rules governing media concentration?
Manishin: This was a landmark case in more ways than one. Every major media conglomerate in the country participated. Oral argument before the Court of Appeals consumed eight hours, an unprecedented amount of time. The length of the opinion illustrates the court’s concern and care in crafting it. First, the court upheld the FCC’s authority to change its media concentration rules in light of changed circumstances. While finding nothing inherently illegal about deregulating media concentration, the court firmly rejected the FCC’s substitute rules. The biggest rule change at issue involved the FCC’s evisceration of the prohibition of a newspaper owning a broadcast television station in one local market or vice versa. Based on the theory that local TV stations and newspapers compete for coverage of local news and public affairs, the prohibition of cross ownership promotes the First Amendment principles I talked about before – diversity and localism. The FCC replaced the cross-ownership pro