FCC defies Congress, Tester promises action

Ruling relaxes regulations on “cross-media ownership”

(WASHINGTON,D.C.) – Montana Senator Jon Tester today released the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission voted to relax the cross-media ownership rule, allowing companies to own both print and broadcast outlets in the same market.

"I don't care if it's the meatpacking industry, electrical companies, or media outlets—consolidation of power by a couple of conglomerates usually ends in a raw deal for consumers. Coming from a town of just more than 700 folks, I know how important small-town papers and broadcasters are. They look out for their communities, not justthe bottom-line. You can bet that I'll fight to protect the independence of the media."

Yesterday, Senator Tester and a bipartisan group of 24 other Senators wrote Kevin Martin, Chairman of the FCC, warning him that if he proceeds to take final action on proposed media ownership rules, they would introduce legislation to revoke and nullify the ruling.

Senators from both sides of the aisle have repeatedly appealed to Martin urging him to delay today's hearing until early 2008 to allow more discussion and debate of the plan. Martin defied these bipartisan calls.