Goto Section: 73.3550 | 73.3556 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.3555
Revised as of September 24, 2020
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  73.3555   Multiple ownership.

   (a)(1) Local radio ownership rule. A person or single entity (or
   entities under common control) may have a cognizable interest in
   licenses for AM or FM radio broadcast stations in accordance with the
   following limits:

   (i) In a radio market with 45 or more full-power, commercial and
   noncommercial radio stations, not more than 8 commercial radio stations
   in total and not more than 5 commercial stations in the same service
   (AM or FM);

   (ii) In a radio market with between 30 and 44 (inclusive) full-power,
   commercial and noncommercial radio stations, not more than 7 commercial
   radio stations in total and not more than 4 commercial stations in the
   same service (AM or FM);

   (iii) In a radio market with between 15 and 29 (inclusive) full-power,
   commercial and noncommercial radio stations, not more than 6 commercial
   radio stations in total and not more than 4 commercial stations in the
   same service (AM or FM); and

   (iv) In a radio market with 14 or fewer full-power, commercial and
   noncommercial radio stations, not more than 5 commercial radio stations
   in total and not more than 3 commercial stations in the same service
   (AM or FM); provided, however, that no person or single entity (or
   entities under common control) may have a cognizable interest in more
   than 50% of the full-power, commercial and noncommercial radio stations
   in such market unless the combination of stations comprises not more
   than one AM and one FM station.

   (2) Overlap between two stations in different services is permissible
   if neither of those two stations overlaps a third station in the same
   service.

   (b) Local television multiple ownership rule. An entity may directly or
   indirectly own, operate, or control two television stations licensed in
   the same Designated Market Area (DMA) (as determined by Nielsen Media
   Research or any successor entity) if:

   (1) The digital noise limited service contours of the stations
   (computed in accordance with § 73.622(e)) do not overlap; or

   (i) At the time the application to acquire or construct the station(s)
   is filed, at least one of the stations is not ranked among the top four
   stations in the DMA, based on the most recent all-day (9 a.m.-midnight)
   audience share, as measured by Nielsen Media Research or by any
   comparable professional, accepted audience ratings service; and

   (ii) At least 8 independently owned and operating, full-power
   commercial and noncommercial TV stations would remain post-merger in
   the DMA in which the communities of license of the TV stations in
   question are located. Count only those TV stations the digital noise
   limited service contours of which overlap with the digital noise
   limited service contour of at least one of the stations in the proposed
   combination. In areas where there is no DMA, count the TV stations
   present in an area that would be the functional equivalent of a TV
   market. Count only those TV stations digital noise limited service
   contours of which overlap with the digital noise limited service
   contour of at least one of the stations in the proposed combination.

   (2) [Reserved]

   (c) Radio-television cross-ownership rule. (1) The rule in this
   paragraph (c) is triggered when:

   (i) The predicted or measured 1 mV/m contour of an existing or proposed
   FM station (computed in accordance with § 73.313) encompasses the entire
   community of license of an existing or proposed commonly owned TV
   broadcast station(s), or the principal community contour(s) of the TV
   broadcast station(s) (computed in accordance with § 73.625) encompasses
   the entire community of license of the FM station; or

   (ii) The predicted or measured 2 mV/m groundwave contour of an existing
   or proposed AM station (computed in accordance with § 73.183 or
   § 73.186), encompasses the entire community of license of an existing or
   proposed commonly owned TV broadcast station(s), or the principal
   community contour(s) of the TV broadcast station(s) (computed in
   accordance with § 73.625) encompass(es) the entire community of license
   of the AM station.

   (2) An entity may directly or indirectly own, operate, or control up to
   two commercial TV stations (if permitted by paragraph (b) of this
   section, the local television multiple ownership rule) and one
   commercial radio station situated as described in paragraph (c)(1) of
   this section. An entity may not exceed these numbers, except as
   follows:

   (i) If at least 20 independently owned media voices would remain in the
   market post-merger, an entity can directly or indirectly own, operate,
   or control up to:

   (A) Two commercial TV and six commercial radio stations (to the extent
   permitted by paragraph (a) of this section, the local radio multiple
   ownership rule); or

   (B) One commercial TV and seven commercial radio stations (to the
   extent that an entity would be permitted to own two commercial TV and
   six commercial radio stations under paragraph (c)(2)(i)(A) of this
   section, and to the extent permitted by paragraph (a) of this section,
   the local radio multiple ownership rule).

   (ii) If at least 10 independently owned media voices would remain in
   the market post-merger, an entity can directly or indirectly own,
   operate, or control up to two commercial TV and four commercial radio
   stations (to the extent permitted by paragraph (a) of this section, the
   local radio multiple ownership rule).

   (3) To determine how many media voices would remain in the market,
   count the following:

   (i) TV stations. Independently owned and operating full-power broadcast
   TV stations within the DMA of the TV station's (or stations') community
   (or communities) of license that have digital noise limited service
   contours (computed in accordance with § 73.622(e)) that overlap with the
   digital noise limited service contour(s) of the TV station(s) at issue;

   (ii) Radio stations. (A)(1) Independently owned operating primary
   broadcast radio stations that are in the radio metro market (as defined
   by Arbitron or another nationally recognized audience rating service)
   of:

   (i) The TV station's (or stations') community (or communities) of
   license; or

   (ii) The radio station's (or stations') community (or communities) of
   license; and

   (2) Independently owned out-of-market broadcast radio stations with a
   minimum share as reported by Arbitron or another nationally recognized
   audience rating service.

   (B) When a proposed combination involves stations in different radio
   markets, the voice requirement in paragraphs (c)(2)(i) and (ii) of this
   section must be met in each market; the radio stations of different
   radio metro markets may not be counted together.

   (C) In areas where there is no radio metro market, count the radio
   stations present in an area that would be the functional equivalent of
   a radio market.

   (iii) Newspapers. Newspapers that are published at least four days a
   week within the TV station's DMA in the dominant language of the market
   and that have a circulation exceeding 5% of the households in the DMA;
   and

   (iv) One cable system. If cable television is generally available to
   households in the DMA. Cable television counts as only one voice in the
   DMA, regardless of how many individual cable systems operate in the
   DMA.

   (d) Newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule. (1) No party (including
   all parties under common control) may directly or indirectly own,
   operate, or control a daily newspaper and a full-power commercial
   broadcast station (AM, FM, or TV) if:

   (i) The predicted or measured 2 mV/m groundwave contour of the AM
   station (computed in accordance with § 73.183 or § 73.186) encompasses
   the entire community in which the newspaper is published and, in areas
   designated as Nielsen Audio Metro markets, the AM station and the
   community of publication of the newspaper are located in the same
   Nielsen Audio Metro market;

   (ii) The predicted or measured 1 mV/m contour of the FM station
   (computed in accordance with § 73.313) encompasses the entire community
   in which the newspaper is published and, in areas designated as Nielsen
   Audio Metro markets, the FM station and the community of publication of
   the newspaper are located in the same Nielsen Audio Metro market; or

   (iii) The principal community contour of the TV station (computed in
   accordance with § 73.625) encompasses the entire community in which the
   newspaper is published; and the community of license of the TV station
   and the community of publication of the newspaper are located in the
   same DMA.

   (2) The prohibition in paragraph (d)(1) of this section shall not apply
   upon a showing that either the newspaper or television station is
   failed or failing.

   (e) National television multiple ownership rule. (1) No license for a
   commercial television broadcast station shall be granted, transferred
   or assigned to any party (including all parties under common control)
   if the grant, transfer or assignment of such license would result in
   such party or any of its stockholders, partners, members, officers or
   directors having a cognizable interest in television stations which
   have an aggregate national audience reach exceeding thirty-nine (39)
   percent.

   (2) For purposes of this paragraph (e):

   (i) National audience reach means the total number of television
   households in the Nielsen Designated Market Areas (DMAs) in which the
   relevant stations are located divided by the total national television
   households as measured by DMA data at the time of a grant, transfer, or
   assignment of a license. For purposes of making this calculation, UHF
   television stations shall be attributed with 50 percent of the
   television households in their DMA market.

   (ii) No market shall be counted more than once in making this
   calculation.

   (3) Divestiture. A person or entity that exceeds the thirty-nine (39)
   percent national audience reach limitation for television stations in
   paragraph (e)(1) of this section through grant, transfer, or assignment
   of an additional license for a commercial television broadcast station
   shall have not more than 2 years after exceeding such limitation to
   come into compliance with such limitation. This divestiture requirement
   shall not apply to persons or entities that exceed the 39 percent
   national audience reach limitation through population growth.

   (f) The ownership limits of this section are not applicable to
   noncommercial educational FM and noncommercial educational TV stations.
   However, the attribution standards set forth in the Notes to this
   section will be used to determine attribution for noncommercial
   educational FM and TV applicants, such as in evaluating mutually
   exclusive applications pursuant to subpart K of part 73.

   Note 1 to § 73.3555: The words “cognizable interest” as used herein
   include any interest, direct or indirect, that allows a person or
   entity to own, operate or control, or that otherwise provides an
   attributable interest in, a broadcast station.

   Note 2 to § 73.3555: In applying the provisions of this section,
   ownership and other interests in broadcast licensees, cable television
   systems and daily newspapers will be attributed to their holders and
   deemed cognizable pursuant to the following criteria:

   a. Except as otherwise provided herein, partnership and direct
   ownership interests and any voting stock interest amounting to 5% or
   more of the outstanding voting stock of a corporate broadcast licensee,
   cable television system or daily newspaper will be cognizable;

   b. Investment companies, as defined in 15 U.S.C. 80a-3, insurance
   companies and banks holding stock through their trust departments in
   trust accounts will be considered to have a cognizable interest only if
   they hold 20% or more of the outstanding voting stock of a corporate
   broadcast licensee, cable television system or daily newspaper, or if
   any of the officers or directors of the broadcast licensee, cable
   television system or daily newspaper are representatives of the
   investment company, insurance company or bank concerned. Holdings by a
   bank or insurance company will be aggregated if the bank or insurance
   company has any right to determine how the stock will be voted.
   Holdings by investment companies will be aggregated if under common
   management.

   c. Attribution of ownership interests in a broadcast licensee, cable
   television system or daily newspaper that are held indirectly by any
   party through one or more intervening corporations will be determined
   by successive multiplication of the ownership percentages for each link
   in the vertical ownership chain and application of the relevant
   attribution benchmark to the resulting product, except that wherever
   the ownership percentage for any link in the chain exceeds 50%, it
   shall not be included for purposes of this multiplication. For purposes
   of paragraph i. of this note, attribution of ownership interests in a
   broadcast licensee, cable television system or daily newspaper that are
   held indirectly by any party through one or more intervening
   organizations will be determined by successive multiplication of the
   ownership percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain and
   application of the relevant attribution benchmark to the resulting
   product, and the ownership percentage for any link in the chain that
   exceeds 50% shall be included for purposes of this multiplication. [For
   example, except for purposes of paragraph (i) of this note, if A owns
   10% of company X, which owns 60% of company Y, which owns 25% of
   “Licensee,” then X's interest in “Licensee” would be 25% (the same as
   Y's interest because X's interest in Y exceeds 50%), and A's interest
   in “Licensee” would be 2.5% (0.1 × 0.25). Under the 5% attribution
   benchmark, X's interest in “Licensee” would be cognizable, while A's
   interest would not be cognizable. For purposes of paragraph i. of this
   note, X's interest in “Licensee” would be 15% (0.6 × 0.25) and A's
   interest in “Licensee” would be 1.5% (0.1 x 0.6 × 0.25). Neither
   interest would be attributed under paragraph i. of this note.]

   d. Voting stock interests held in trust shall be attributed to any
   person who holds or shares the power to vote such stock, to any person
   who has the sole power to sell such stock, and to any person who has
   the right to revoke the trust at will or to replace the trustee at
   will. If the trustee has a familial, personal or extra-trust business
   relationship to the grantor or the beneficiary, the grantor or
   beneficiary, as appropriate, will be attributed with the stock
   interests held in trust. An otherwise qualified trust will be
   ineffective to insulate the grantor or beneficiary from attribution
   with the trust's assets unless all voting stock interests held by the
   grantor or beneficiary in the relevant broadcast licensee, cable
   television system or daily newspaper are subject to said trust.

   e. Subject to paragraph i. of this note, holders of non-voting stock
   shall not be attributed an interest in the issuing entity. Subject to
   paragraph i. of this note, holders of debt and instruments such as
   warrants, convertible debentures, options or other non-voting interests
   with rights of conversion to voting interests shall not be attributed
   unless and until conversion is effected.

   f. 1. A limited partnership interest shall be attributed to a limited
   partner unless that partner is not materially involved, directly or
   indirectly, in the management or operation of the media-related
   activities of the partnership and the licensee or system so certifies.
   An interest in a Limited Liability Company (“LLC”) or Registered
   Limited Liability Partnership (“RLLP”) shall be attributed to the
   interest holder unless that interest holder is not materially involved,
   directly or indirectly, in the management or operation of the
   media-related activities of the partnership and the licensee or system
   so certifies.

   2. For a licensee or system that is a limited partnership to make the
   certification set forth in paragraph f. 1. of this note, it must verify
   that the partnership agreement or certificate of limited partnership,
   with respect to the particular limited partner exempt from attribution,
   establishes that the exempt limited partner has no material
   involvement, directly or indirectly, in the management or operation of
   the media activities of the partnership. For a licensee or system that
   is an LLC or RLLP to make the certification set forth in paragraph f.
   1. of this note, it must verify that the organizational document, with
   respect to the particular interest holder exempt from attribution,
   establishes that the exempt interest holder has no material
   involvement, directly or indirectly, in the management or operation of
   the media activities of the LLC or RLLP. The criteria which would
   assume adequate insulation for purposes of this certification are
   described in the Memorandum Opinion and Order in MM Docket No. 83-46,
   FCC 85-252 (released June 24, 1985), as modified on reconsideration in
   the Memorandum Opinion and Order in MM Docket No. 83-46, FCC 86-410
   (released November 28, 1986). Irrespective of the terms of the
   certificate of limited partnership or partnership agreement, or other
   organizational document in the case of an LLC or RLLP, however, no such
   certification shall be made if the individual or entity making the
   certification has actual knowledge of any material involvement of the
   limited partners, or other interest holders in the case of an LLC or
   RLLP, in the management or operation of the media-related businesses of
   the partnership or LLC or RLLP.

   3. In the case of an LLC or RLLP, the licensee or system seeking
   insulation shall certify, in addition, that the relevant state statute
   authorizing LLCs permits an LLC member to insulate itself as required
   by our criteria.

   g. Officers and directors of a broadcast licensee, cable television
   system or daily newspaper are considered to have a cognizable interest
   in the entity with which they are so associated. If any such entity
   engages in businesses in addition to its primary business of
   broadcasting, cable television service or newspaper publication, it may
   request the Commission to waive attribution for any officer or director
   whose duties and responsibilities are wholly unrelated to its primary
   business. The officers and directors of a parent company of a broadcast
   licensee, cable television system or daily newspaper, with an
   attributable interest in any such subsidiary entity, shall be deemed to
   have a cognizable interest in the subsidiary unless the duties and
   responsibilities of the officer or director involved are wholly
   unrelated to the broadcast licensee, cable television system or daily
   newspaper subsidiary, and a statement properly documenting this fact is
   submitted to the Commission. [This statement may be included on the
   appropriate Ownership Report.] The officers and directors of a sister
   corporation of a broadcast licensee, cable television system or daily
   newspaper shall not be attributed with ownership of these entities by
   virtue of such status.

   h. Discrete ownership interests will be aggregated in determining
   whether or not an interest is cognizable under this section. An
   individual or entity will be deemed to have a cognizable investment if:

   1. The sum of the interests held by or through “passive investors” is
   equal to or exceeds 20 percent; or

   2. The sum of the interests other than those held by or through
   “passive investors” is equal to or exceeds 5 percent; or

   3. The sum of the interests computed under paragraph h. 1. of this note
   plus the sum of the interests computed under paragraph h. 2. of this
   note is equal to or exceeds 20 percent.

   i.1. Notwithstanding paragraphs e. and f. of this Note, the holder of
   an equity or debt interest or interests in a broadcast licensee, cable
   television system, daily newspaper, or other media outlet subject to
   the broadcast multiple ownership or cross-ownership rules (“interest
   holder”) shall have that interest attributed if:

   A. The equity (including all stockholdings, whether voting or
   nonvoting, common or preferred) and debt interest or interests, in the
   aggregate, exceed 33 percent of the total asset value, defined as the
   aggregate of all equity plus all debt, of that media outlet; and

   B.(i) The interest holder also holds an interest in a broadcast
   licensee, cable television system, newspaper, or other media outlet
   operating in the same market that is subject to the broadcast multiple
   ownership or cross-ownership rules and is attributable under paragraphs
   of this note other than this paragraph i.; or

   (ii) The interest holder supplies over fifteen percent of the total
   weekly broadcast programming hours of the station in which the interest
   is held. For purposes of applying this paragraph, the term, “market,”
   will be defined as it is defined under the specific multiple ownership
   rule or cross-ownership rule that is being applied, except that for
   television stations, the term “market,” will be defined by reference to
   the definition contained in the local television multiple ownership
   rule contained in paragraph (b) of this section.

   2. Notwithstanding paragraph i.1. of this Note, the interest holder may
   exceed the 33 percent threshold therein without triggering attribution
   where holding such interest would enable an eligible entity to acquire
   a broadcast station, provided that:

   i. The combined equity and debt of the interest holder in the eligible
   entity is less than 50 percent, or

   ii. The total debt of the interest holder in the eligible entity does
   not exceed 80 percent of the asset value of the station being acquired
   by the eligible entity and the interest holder does not hold any equity
   interest, option, or promise to acquire an equity interest in the
   eligible entity or any related entity. For purposes of this paragraph
   i.2, an “eligible entity” shall include any entity that qualifies as a
   small business under the Small Business Administration's size standards
   for its industry grouping, as set forth in 13 CFR 121.201, at the time
   the transaction is approved by the FCC, and holds:

   A. 30 percent or more of the stock or partnership interests and more
   than 50 percent of the voting power of the corporation or partnership
   that will own the media outlet; or

   B. 15 percent or more of the stock or partnership interests and more
   than 50 percent of the voting power of the corporation or partnership
   that will own the media outlet, provided that no other person or entity
   owns or controls more than 25 percent of the outstanding stock or
   partnership interests; or

   C. More than 50 percent of the voting power of the corporation that
   will own the media outlet if such corporation is a publicly traded
   company.

   j. “Time brokerage” (also known as “local marketing”) is the sale by a
   licensee of discrete blocks of time to a “broker” that supplies the
   programming to fill that time and sells the commercial spot
   announcements in it.

   1. Where two radio stations are both located in the same market, as
   defined for purposes of the local radio ownership rule contained in
   paragraph (a) of this section, and a party (including all parties under
   common control) with a cognizable interest in one such station brokers
   more than 15 percent of the broadcast time per week of the other such
   station, that party shall be treated as if it has an interest in the
   brokered station subject to the limitations set forth in paragraphs
   (a), (c), and (d) of this section. This limitation shall apply
   regardless of the source of the brokered programming supplied by the
   party to the brokered station.

   2. Where two television stations are both located in the same market,
   as defined in the local television ownership rule contained in
   paragraph (b) of this section, and a party (including all parties under
   common control) with a cognizable interest in one such station brokers
   more than 15 percent of the broadcast time per week of the other such
   station, that party shall be treated as if it has an interest in the
   brokered station subject to the limitations set forth in paragraphs
   (b), (c), (d) and (e) of this section. This limitation shall apply
   regardless of the source of the brokered programming supplied by the
   party to the brokered station.

   3. Every time brokerage agreement of the type described in this Note
   shall be undertaken only pursuant to a signed written agreement that
   shall contain a certification by the licensee or permittee of the
   brokered station verifying that it maintains ultimate control over the
   station's facilities including, specifically, control over station
   finances, personnel and programming, and by the brokering station that
   the agreement complies with the provisions of paragraphs (b), (c), and
   (d) of this section if the brokering station is a television station or
   with paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) of this section if the brokering
   station is a radio station.

   k. “Joint Sales Agreement” is an agreement with a licensee of a
   “brokered station” that authorizes a “broker” to sell advertising time
   for the “brokered station.”

   1. Where two radio stations are both located in the same market, as
   defined for purposes of the local radio ownership rule contained in
   paragraph (a) of this section, and a party (including all parties under
   common control) with a cognizable interest in one such station sells
   more than 15 percent of the advertising time per week of the other such
   station, that party shall be treated as if it has an interest in the
   brokered station subject to the limitations set forth in paragraphs
   (a), (c), and (d) of this section.

   2. Where two television stations are both located in the same market,
   as defined for purposes of the local television ownership rule
   contained in paragraph (b) of this section, and a party (including all
   parties under common control) with a cognizable interest in one such
   station sells more than 15 percent of the advertising time per week of
   the other such station, that party shall be treated as if it has an
   interest in the brokered station subject to the limitations set forth
   in paragraphs (b), (c), (d), and (e) of this section.

   3. Every joint sales agreement of the type described in this Note shall
   be undertaken only pursuant to a signed written agreement that shall
   contain a certification by the licensee or permittee of the brokered
   station verifying that it maintains ultimate control over the station's
   facilities, including, specifically, control over station finances,
   personnel and programming, and by the brokering station that the
   agreement complies with the limitations set forth in paragraphs (b),
   (c), and (d) of this section if the brokering station is a television
   station or with paragraphs (a), (c), and (d) of this section if the
   brokering station is a radio station.

   Note 3 to § 73.3555: In cases where record and beneficial ownership of
   voting stock is not identical (e.g., bank nominees holding stock as
   record owners for the benefit of mutual funds, brokerage houses holding
   stock in street names for the benefit of customers, investment advisors
   holding stock in their own names for the benefit of clients, and
   insurance companies holding stock), the party having the right to
   determine how the stock will be voted will be considered to own it for
   purposes of these rules.

   Note 4 to § 73.3555: Paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section will not
   be applied so as to require divestiture, by any licensee, of existing
   facilities, and will not apply to applications for assignment of
   license or transfer of control filed in accordance with § 73.3540(f) or
   § 73.3541(b), or to applications for assignment of license or transfer
   of control to heirs or legatees by will or intestacy, or to FM or AM
   broadcast minor modification applications for intra-market community of
   license changes, if no new or increased concentration of ownership
   would be created among commonly owned, operated or controlled media
   properties. Paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section will apply to
   all applications for new stations, to all other applications for
   assignment or transfer, to all applications for major changes to
   existing stations, and to all other applications for minor changes to
   existing stations that seek a change in an FM or AM radio station's
   community of license or create new or increased concentration of
   ownership among commonly owned, operated or controlled media
   properties. Commonly owned, operated or controlled media properties
   that do not comply with paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section may
   not be assigned or transferred to a single person, group or entity,
   except as provided in this Note, the Report and Order in Docket No.
   02-277, released July 2, 2003 (FCC 02-127), or the Second Report and
   Order in MB Docket No. 14-50, FCC 16-107 (released August 25, 2016).

   Note 5 to § 73.3555: Paragraphs (b) through (e) of this section will not
   be applied to cases involving television stations that are “satellite”
   operations. Such cases will be considered in accordance with the
   analysis set forth in the Report and Order in MM Docket No. 87-8, FCC
   91-182 (released July 8, 1991), as further explained by the Report and
   Order in MB Docket No. 18-63, FCC 19-17, (released March 12, 2019), in
   order to determine whether common ownership, operation, or control of
   the stations in question would be in the public interest. An authorized
   and operating “satellite” television station, the digital noise limited
   service contour of which overlaps that of a commonly owned, operated,
   or controlled “non-satellite” parent television broadcast station, or
   the principal community contour of which completely encompasses the
   community of publication of a commonly owned, operated, or controlled
   daily newspaper, or the community of license of a commonly owned,
   operated, or controlled AM or FM broadcast station, or the community of
   license of which is completely encompassed by the 2 mV/m contour of
   such AM broadcast station or the 1 mV/m contour of such FM broadcast
   station, may subsequently become a “non-satellite” station under the
   circumstances described in the aforementioned Report and Order in MM
   Docket No. 87-8. However, such commonly owned, operated, or controlled
   “non-satellite” television stations and AM or FM stations with the
   aforementioned community encompassment, may not be transferred or
   assigned to a single person, group, or entity except as provided in
   Note 4 of this section. Nor shall any application for assignment or
   transfer concerning such “non-satellite” stations be granted if the
   assignment or transfer would be to the same person, group or entity to
   which the commonly owned, operated, or controlled newspaper is proposed
   to be transferred, except as provided in Note 4 of this section.

   Note 6 to § 73.3555: For purposes of this section a daily newspaper is
   one which is published four or more days per week, which is in the
   dominant language in the market, and which is circulated generally in
   the community of publication. A college newspaper is not considered as
   being circulated generally.

   Note 7 to § 73.3555: The Commission will entertain applications to waive
   the restrictions in paragraph (b) and (c) of this section (the local
   television ownership rule and the radio/television cross-ownership
   rule) on a case-by-case basis. In each case, we will require a showing
   that the in-market buyer is the only entity ready, willing, and able to
   operate the station, that sale to an out-of-market applicant would
   result in an artificially depressed price, and that the waiver
   applicant does not already directly or indirectly own, operate, or
   control interest in two television stations within the relevant DMA.
   One way to satisfy these criteria would be to provide an affidavit from
   an independent broker affirming that active and serious efforts have
   been made to sell the permit, and that no reasonable offer from an
   entity outside the market has been received.

   We will entertain waiver requests as follows:

   1. If one of the broadcast stations involved is a “failed” station that
   has not been in operation due to financial distress for at least four
   consecutive months immediately prior to the application, or is a debtor
   in an involuntary bankruptcy or insolvency proceeding at the time of
   the application.

   2. For paragraph (b) of this section only, if one of the television
   stations involved is a “failing” station that has an all-day audience
   share of no more than four per cent; the station has had negative cash
   flow for three consecutive years immediately prior to the application;
   and consolidation of the two stations would result in tangible and
   verifiable public interest benefits that outweigh any harm to
   competition and diversity.

   3. For paragraph (b) of this section only, if the combination will
   result in the construction of an unbuilt station. The permittee of the
   unbuilt station must demonstrate that it has made reasonable efforts to
   construct but has been unable to do so.

   Note 8 to § 73.3555: Paragraph (a)(1) of this section will not apply to
   an application for an AM station license in the 535-1605 kHz band where
   grant of such application will result in the overlap of 5 mV/m
   groundwave contours of the proposed station and that of another AM
   station in the 535-1605 kHz band that is commonly owned, operated or
   controlled if the applicant shows that a significant reduction in
   interference to adjacent or co-channel stations would accompany such
   common ownership. Such AM overlap cases will be considered on a
   case-by-case basis to determine whether common ownership, operation or
   control of the stations in question would be in the public interest.
   Applicants in such cases must submit a contingent application of the
   major or minor facilities change needed to achieve the interference
   reduction along with the application which seeks to create the 5 mV/m
   overlap situation.

   Note 9 to § 73.3555: Paragraph (a)(1) of this section will not apply to
   an application for an AM station license in the 1605-1705 kHz band
   where grant of such application will result in the overlap of the 5
   mV/m groundwave contours of the proposed station and that of another AM
   station in the 535-1605 kHz band that is commonly owned, operated or
   controlled. Paragraphs (d)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section will not
   apply to an application for an AM station license in the 1605-1705 kHz
   band by an entity that owns, operates, controls or has a cognizable
   interest in AM radio stations in the 535-1605 kHz band.

   Note 10 to § 73.3555: Authority for joint ownership granted pursuant to
   Note 9 will expire at 3 a.m. local time on the fifth anniversary for
   the date of issuance of a construction permit for an AM radio station
   in the 1605-1705 kHz band.

   Note 11 to § 73.3555: An entity will not be permitted to directly or
   indirectly own, operate, or control two television stations in the same
   DMA through the execution of any agreement (or series of agreements)
   involving stations in the same DMA, or any individual or entity with a
   cognizable interest in such stations, in which a station (the “new
   affiliate”) acquires the network affiliation of another station (the
   “previous affiliate”), if the change in network affiliations would
   result in the licensee of the new affiliate, or any individual or
   entity with a cognizable interest in the new affiliate, directly or
   indirectly owning, operating, or controlling two of the top-four rated
   television stations in the DMA at the time of the agreement. Parties
   should also refer to the Second Report and Order in MB Docket No.
   14-50, FCC 16-107 (released August 25, 2016).

   Note 12 to § 73.3555: Parties seeking waiver of paragraph (d)(1) of this
   section, or an exception pursuant to paragraph (d)(2) of this section
   involving failed or failing properties, should refer to the Second
   Report and Order in MB Docket No. 14-50, FCC 16-107 (released August
   25, 2016).

   [ 73 FR 9487 , Feb. 21, 2008, as amended at  73 FR 28369 , May 16, 2008;  75 FR 27199 , May 14, 2010;  79 FR 29006 , May 20, 2014;  81 FR 73041 , Oct.
   24, 2016;  81 FR 76262 , Nov. 1, 2016;  82 FR 21127 , May 5, 2017;  83 FR 755 , Jan. 8, 2018;  84 FR 15128 , Apr. 15, 2019;  85 FR 5164 , Jan. 29,
   2020]

   


Goto Section: 73.3550 | 73.3556

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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