Barring an unforeseen and very unlikely objection from one or more of the Federal Communications Commission’s five commissioners, some very critical regional media market waivers will be granted by the FCC on Friday. The waivers reaffirm the Tribune Company’s right to own radio, TV and newspaper outlets in the same market:
The FCC has told commissioners it plans to grant Tribune’s new owners a permanent waiver for the company’s longtime ownership of the Chicago Tribune newspaper and WGN radio and television stations in the Chicago market.
The staff also plans to give one-year waivers for the Tribune’s ownership of the Los Angeles Times and KTLA-TV Channel 5 and for similar arrangements in New York, southern Florida and Hartford, Conn.
The waivers are a key final hurdle in Tribune Co.’s long, gradual emergence from bankruptcy. During the 2012 Summer TCA, David Geffen made it clear he has no interest in purchasing the LA Times. But if other similarly well-heeled SoCal suitors emerge, they might very well only be interested in the newspaper and not KTLA.
Update – 11/16/12: It’s now official.