On Wednesday, the American Cable Association, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV asked the FCC to block part Gannett’s deal to buy Belo Corporation saying it will increase the likelihood of higher re-transmission fees, transmission blackouts and higher consumer costs.
The same day a group of six organizations petitioned the FCC to deny the deal because they contend it violates the FCC’s cross-ownership rule and its rule against duopolies and would lead to, “job losses and a considerable reduction in the quality of journalism for millions of television homes.”
Gannett has said it plans to transfer ownership of Belo’s stations in St. Louis (KMOV), Phoenix (KTVK-KASW) and Tucson (KMSB-KTTU) to former Belo executive Jack Sander and Ben Tucker, the former head of the Fisher station group. Gannett already owns KSDK in St. Louis and KPNX in Phoenix as well as a newspaper in the Tucson market and would use Sander and Tucker to avoid FCC regulations preventing such ownership. Read more