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Chris-Craft issue waits for new FCC

GOP majority likely to push marriage through

It looks like News Corp. won’t be able to push its Chris-Craft merger through the FCC this week, which means the conglom will have to wait a few more weeks at least for a greenlight as three new commissioners get up to speed on the deal.

FCC chairman Michael Powell told reporters Wednesday that, as expected, the commission, which is operating through this week with two Republicans and two Democrats, was essentially deadlocked. But commissioner Susan Ness, who had concerns about the merger, is leaving Friday. Two Republicans, Kathleen Abernathy and Kevin Martin, and one Democrat, Michael Copps, were confirmed last week by the Senate to round out the five-seat commission.

The FCC’s GOP majority is more likely to usher the merger through, sooner rather than later if Powell has his way.

“I certainly hope and pray that the merger is more a matter of weeks than months,” Powell said. “It was ready for a decision before.”

(Reuters contributed to this story.)