FCC Chairman's Proposal to Prohibit Joint Sales Deals Strikes Partisan Nerve

Commissioner O'Rielly says new rule is not in the public interest

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Federal Communications Commission chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal to inhibit joint sales agreements between TV stations is already shaping up to be a fight that will split along party lines.

With Commissioner Mike O'Rielly's statement released Monday—which supports keeping JSAs as an option for small-market broadcasters—both Republican commissioners have publicly expressed their opposition to Wheeler's proposed change, which will be on the agency's agenda at the end of the month.

Wheeler has called joint sales agreements, where one TV stations sells advertising time for another, a loophole in the ownership rules that allow big broadcasters to essentially own a second station without having that count as ownership.

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