News Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 to relax several rules that govern media ownership.

Specifically, it lifted the decades-old restriction prohibiting a company from owning a television station or radio station in any one city, except for very small markets. The FCC also relaxed rules to allow multi-media corporations to own more stations at the national and local levels. Finally, it voted to raise the maximum coverage a broadcast network can own of nationwide television stations from 35 percent to 45 percent. Senator Murray released the following statement:

“Today, the FCC voted along party-lines to relax several rules governing media ownership. This action will likely pave the way for a few media giants to acquire more news outlets. Increased consolidation means that fewer and fewer powerful corporations will control more and more of our news.

We depend on our news outlets to be free, unbiased sources of information. Unfortunately, today’s action serves to limit the alternative viewpoints and information that Americans value. We must protect and defend our First Amendment rights especially in the face of more consolidation.

The FCC has acted largely behind closed doors. Chairman Powell conducted few public hearings and refused to allow Congress or the public to review rules before today’s decision. This is despite having received over 500,000 emails and postcards opposing these changes.

On April 9, 2003, I sent a letter to Chairman Powell along with 14 other U.S. Senators, from both political parties, asking that the FCC allow Congress and the public a chance to review these changes and comment before they are enacted.

Today’s move by the FCC will limit free speech and put more power in the hands of fewer people. I will continue to work alongside my Senate colleagues to help promote diversity over the publicly-owned airwaves.”