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November 27, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller has asked the FCC to delay approval of major acquisitions by media conglomerates until a study of so-called shared service agreements is completed. SSAs are arrangements that allow one company to operate a broadcast station without technically owning it, thereby circumventing FCC rules barring companies from owning two or more stations in the same market. In a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, Rockefeller wrote, “I will be watching your actions closely to make sure that your review of media ownership activity properly comports with diversity, localism, and ultimately the public interest.” Rockefeller’s action was welcomed by Matt Wood, policy director of Free Press, who told the Los Angeles Times, “We’re thrilled that Senator Rockefeller is calling attention to this issue,” said Matt Wood, policy director of Free Press. “Fake owners shouldn’t hold real broadcast licenses. For too long the FCC has turned a blind eye while broadcasters have grown their empires at the expense of local viewers.”