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The FCC’s unprecedented attempt to block diversity in media ownership

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC), by its own admission, oversees a severe lack of diversity in broadcast television ownership — and claims to want to counter this status quo.  Yet recently, the FCC took an unprecedented action to thwart a transaction that would create the largest minority-owned, woman-led media group in American history.

The issue is investment firm Standard General’s potential acquisition of media company TEGNA. While it is normal for acquisitions of this kind to undergo a regulatory review period, the process is now completely off the rails. After nearly a year of review, and three different comment periods, the FCC’s Media Bureau designated this transaction for a hearing before an administrative law judge, the first time that the FCC has used this maneuver in an apparent attempt to block an acquisition. 

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