December 26, 2023
The Federal Communications Commission has made its final rulings in its Quadrennial Regulatory Review.
To the dismay of the broadcast industry, the FCC has ruled that a
broadcaster cannot automatically expect to license two Top-Four (Network
affiliate) stations in the same TV market without getting FCC approval
Says the FCC, "... a broadcaster cannot acquire two stations ranked in the top four in audience share in a market—known as the Top-Four Prohibition—unless, at the request of an applicant, the Commission finds that such an acquisition serves the public interest, convenience, and necessity on a case-by-case basis."
Media Action Center provided both the FCC and the Supreme Court with photographic evidence that in TV markets where Station groups license two Network affiliates in the same town, those licensees are merely putting the same news content on both Network stations, rather than providing "more and better local news" as they had promised.
Many other Media Reform groups,
lawyers, and academics contributed to this success. We are grateful
that our combined efforts brought this matter to a successful conclusion
for We the People.