FCC allegedly buried media study that supported localism

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According to a former FCC lawyer, the commission ordered staffers to destroy copies of a 2004 report that suggested media ownership consolidation would hurt local TV news coverage, the Associated Press reports (via USA Today). That conclusion, the AP notes, is at odds with arguments the commission made “when it voted in 2003 to increase the number of television stations a company could own in a single market.” The report came to light earlier this week during the Senate confirmation hearing for current FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who said he did not know about the study in question. Martin succeeded former chair Michael Powell in 2005. A copy of the localism report, an anti-consolidation petition and a Godfather-esque shot of former FCC chief Powell are available at activist coalition site, stopbigmedia.com.