SOURCE: Newspaper Association of America

December 18, 2007 14:06 ET

NAA President and CEO John F. Sturm Comments on FCC Passage of New Media Ownership Rules

New Rule Does Not Meet Needs of Consumers in Smaller, Medium-Sized Markets

ARLINGTON, VA--(Marketwire - December 18, 2007) - John F. Sturm, President and CEO of the Newspaper Association of America, issued the following statement in response to the Federal Communications Commission's passage of revised newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rules:

"The FCC has finally taken modest action to chip away at the obsolete newspaper cross-ownership ban after more than three decades. Few, if any, issues have been examined more thoroughly by the FCC in recent history, and the Commission's order responds to a congressional requirement to review the rules and a court remand that occurred three years ago. Today's vote is only a baby step in the actions needed to maintain the vitality of local news, in print and over-the-air, in all communities across the nation.

"Out of the 210 designated market areas that exist in the U.S., today's decision would permit cross-ownership only in the 20 largest markets and would provide no assurance of relief from the ban in medium-sized and smaller markets. In a media landscape that has undergone radical changes in the last 30 years, the outright prohibition on cross-ownership no longer makes sense and restricts unfairly the availability of local news in hundreds of communities.

"The FCC needs to level the regulatory playing field among traditional daily newspapers, broadcasters and their competitors. Eliminating the cross-ownership ban completely would enhance localism by enabling broadcasters to increase local news and would not distract from the diversity of viewpoints available to local audiences."

NAA is a nonprofit organization representing the $59 billion newspaper industry and more than 2,000 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. NAA members include daily newspapers, as well as non-dailies and other publications published throughout the world. Headquartered just outside Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the Association focuses on six key strategic priorities that affect the newspaper industry collectively: marketing, public policy, diversity, industry development, newspaper operations and readership. Information about NAA and the industry also may be found at

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