FCC Commissioner acknowledges that some SSAs may be “designed to patently circumvent the ownership rules”
In a speech to the Media Institute yesterday, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn spoke at length about the myriad issues facing the current Commission, but said the following about Shared Service Agreements and Joint Services Agreements:
Also, over the last few weeks, my office, along with those of my colleagues, has been abuzz with industry representatives, consumer groups, and other stakeholders, on the attribution rules. The whole issue of JSAs and SSAs presents a quandary for someone like me, because I recognize the needs of small and medium sized media markets and the desire and need to provide news and local stories to those markets, on the one hand. On the other hand, we have heard a good number of anecdotes about how such arrangements have been designed to patently circumvent the ownership rules — and that is not good for anyone. Suffice it to say, that I have an open mind on the issue and will look closely at what is put into circulation.
I favor competition and diversity of voices in the delivery of broadcast services, and want to ensure that consumer choice is a key part of advancing the public interest and I favor policies that will serve to create, and expand ownership opportunities for small businesses and new entrants, but I recognize that there are barriers to entry, including access to capital, which present problems for diverse ownership and voices.
You can read her entire speech on The Media Insitute’s web site here.