The Federal Communications Commission has approved two of the year's biggest TV station deals involving the sale of nearly 40 stations: Gannett's $1.5 billion purchase of Belo and Tribune's $2.73 billion purchase of Local TV.
In what is turning out to be a highly contentious rulemaking, the Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 along party lines to begin the process of changing how TV stations are counted toward the 39 percent national ownership cap. The proposed rulemaking is already catching flak from Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.), the lawmaker whose subcommittee has jurisidiction over the FCC.
Gannett's $2.2 billion deal to buy Belo to become a 43 TV station super group is opening up some old-media consolidation wounds in Washington.
Maybe because everyone in Washington already spent months chewing over Tom Wheeler's qualifications as the next chairman of the Federal Communications Commission—or maybe it was because Congress was on a brief recess—Congressional reaction to the Wheeler's official nomination was sparse. But hotly anticipated was a statement from Sen.