The FCC’s Big Media Misstep

The Federal Communications Commission isn’t used to being a magnet for controversy. Although the FCC and its 5-member board has near-complete control over the nation’s broadcast spectrum, its rulings have frequently gone unnoticed by the vast majority of the American public. But this year, “the FCC broke its traditional lockstep and experienced a very public 3-to-2 split in June votes that narrowly endorsed six media-ownership rule changes, including one that would allow a single network to control television stations reaching 45 percent of all American households.” The reaction from the public was dramatic and negative, and the resulting fallout has put FCC chairman Michael Powell on the defensive.