Television broadcasters are suing to block an attempt by the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on media consolidation.
The lawsuit by the National Association of Broadcasters claims that the agency’s new policy is “arbitrary and capricious” and an abuse of power. The suit, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, also claims that the FCC failed to follow proper rule-making procedure.
Under the FCC Media Bureau’s policy, which was first issued in March, the agency will scrutinize any deals between TV stations that share a single advertising staff or other resources — such as news helicopters. Later in the month, the FCC enacted broader rules against “joint sales agreements.”
Democratic FCC officials argue that major TV companies around the country are colluding to undermine the agency’s media-ownership caps.
The FCC bars any company from owning more than one of the top four TV stations in a market. By selling ads for multiple stations, companies have been able to dodge the FCC’s ownership cap while effectively controlling several stations, according to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler.
The goal of the TV ownership cap is to ensure that viewers have access to a diverse range of views in the media and that no single corporation is able to dominate the flow of information.
Republicans and broadcasters warn that the FCC’s actions will force small TV stations off the air. They argue that sharing resources helps stations save costs and focus more on covering news important to their local communities.
CORRECTION: This post has been updated to reflect that the lawsuit is over the Media Bureau’s policy guidance as opposed to the new rules on joint sales deals.
What We're Following See More »
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”
"Donald Trump's campaign and the Republican party will coordinate more closely going forward, with the GOP's top communicator and chief strategist Sean Spicer increasingly working out of Trump campaign headquarters, the campaign confirmed Sunday."
In a statement released Friday morning, the Trump campaign announced that Paul Manafort has resigned as campaign chairman. The move comes after fresh questions had been raised about Manafort's work in Russia and Ukraine, and Trump brought in Stephen Bannon "as a de facto demotion for Manafort."