FCC eases rules on foreign ownership of TV and radio stations

Tom WheelerFrom The LA Times:

The Federal Communications Commission wants to encourage more foreign ownership of television and radio stations.

Currently, there is a 25% cap on a foreign company or individual when it comes to owning a stake in a broadcast property. While the cap is not being loosened per se, the FCC said on Thursday that if an investment exceeded 25%, it could still be approved.

“The ruling potentially removes obstacles to new capital investment, which will support small business, minority, and female broadcast ownership, and spur innovation,” the FCC said in announcing that it was clarifying its foreign ownership policy.

The agency said the tweak “does not alter the FCC’s obligation to protect the public interest, including national security, localism and media diversity, in case-by-case reviews of each transition.”

The move is one of the first signed off on by new FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who was sworn in last week.

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