Many voices needed

Variety Editorial

The Federal Communications Commission’s landmark June 2 vote on new media ownership rules is fast approaching. So why is it that we have heard so little elaboration from the body’s free-marketeers?

Michael Powell’s conservative agenda is well-known, but the reasoning behind his conglom-friendly stance is a little more opaque. How does he address concerns that television might follow in the path of radio, which is so consolidated that it has squeezed out many voices?

To Daily Variety, the move to loosen these few remaining strictures on ownership feels uncomfortably like a rush job. We have no objection to companies taking advantage of free-market opportunities. But we think more companies should have that opportunity, not increasingly fewer. The FCC has not convincingly made the case that that will be so.

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