FCC to ask Chi court for stay on fin-syn rules changes

The Federal Communications Commission will ask a Chicago court that last week overturned financial interest and syndication rules adopted in 1991 to leave the regulations intact until the FCC can craft a better justification for the fin-syn regs.

Sources said the three commissioners who voted for the rules changes last year–Andrew Barrett, Ervin Duggan and Sherrie Marshall–have agreed to ask the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to maintain the 1991 rules in their entirety pending a new FCC review of the case.

FCC chairman Al Sikes and commissioner James Quello, who were in the pro-network minority last year, intend to ask the Chi court to get rid of the rules, per Quello. “The time is way past for any of these rules,” Quello said yesterday.

The fin-syn rules were revised last year by the FCC to allow the TV networks limited entry into the TV syndication business. A Chicago court tossed out the decision last week, and gave the networks, the FCC and Hollywood’s production community 15 days to advise the court how to proceed with the case.

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