Rupert Murdoch yesterday petitioned the Federal Communications Commission for permission to own the New York Post while he retains control of WNYW-TV.

FCC rules bar common ownership of a newspaper and a TV station in the same market.

The regs stem from the commission’s longstanding belief that consumers are better served by the widest variety of ownership of media outlets possible.

In the FCC filing, Murdoch’s attorneys argued that the waiver request should be granted because no other buyer has stepped forward to save the Post. “Under the unique circumstances presented, unless the requested relief is granted, the New York Post will be silenced forever, and the underlying purpose of the rules — the preservation of viewpoint diversity … will be thwarted,” the petition said.

“Thus, in granting this request, the commission has the opportunity to advance the purpose of the rules by facilitating the only viable plan to save the nation’s oldest daily newspaper from extinction.”

Murdoch attorney William Reyner said he is “confident the request will get close and timely scrutiny by the FCC.”

Murdoch’s attempt to own both the Post and WNYW was thwarted by Congress in 1986, when key Democrats blocked the FCC from considering the request. Things have changed this time around, however, with no congressional opposition having surfaced.

However, Murdoch’s bid is being fought by two Hispanic organizations — Rainbow Broadcasting in Los Angeles and the New York chapter of the National Hispanic Media Coalition.

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