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The Washington headquarters of the Federal Communications Commission. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

In a win for the broadcasting industry, the FCC voted Thursday along party lines to lift limits on media consolidation.

Why it matters: It's FCC chairman Ajit Pai's latest move to deregulate the media industry after a year in which he has regularly been accused by Democrats of trying to aid the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is trying to buy Tribune Media.

The details:

  • The agency repealed the ban on owning a television station and newspaper in the same market, and a similar rule for owning TV and radio stations.
  • The FCC will also be able to waive a prohibition on owning two of the top four stations in a single market.

What's next?: The move will likely be challenged in court.

Go deeper: We wrote earlier this week about why this has been a great year for broadcasters in Washington. The agency also voted on Thursday to allow broadcasters to use a new technical standard that will let them track viewer data for ad targeting purposes.

Go deeper

GOP implosion: Trump threats, payback

Spotted last week on a work van in Evansville, Ind. Photo: Sam Owens/The Evansville Courier & Press via Reuters

The GOP is getting torn apart by a spreading revolt against party leaders for failing to stand up for former President Trump and punish his critics.

Why it matters: Republican leaders suffered a nightmarish two months in Washington. Outside the nation’s capital, it's even worse.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The limits of Biden's plan to cancel student debt

Data: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax; Chart: Axios Visuals

There’s a growing consensus among Americans who want President Biden to cancel student debt — but addressing the ballooning debt burden is much more complicated than it seems.

Why it matters: Student debt is stopping millions of Americans from buying homes, buying cars and starting families. And the crisis is rapidly getting worse.

Why made-for-TV moments matter during the pandemic

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Erin Schaff-Pool, Biden Inaugural Committee via Getty Images

In a world where most Americans are isolated and forced to laugh, cry and mourn without friends or family by their side, viral moments can offer critical opportunities to unite the country or divide it.

Driving the news: President Biden's inauguration was produced to create several made-for-social viral moments, a tactic similar to what the Democratic National Committee and the Biden campaign pulled off during the Democratic National Convention.

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