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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Federal Communication Commission's vote to relax decades-old broadcasting ownership rules was struck down Monday by a federal appeals circuit court, dealing a massive blow to local broadcasters looking to consolidate to survive.

Why it matters: It's unclear what the ruling means for the state of current transactions, or the many other companies looking to buy or sell stations based on the new ownership cap that has been struck down by the 3rd Circuit.

Case-in-point: Just last week the FCC voted to approve Nexstar's historic $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, which would create the largest U.S. local television group.

  • Gray Television's $3.6 billion takeover of Raycom last year was approved on the basis of the new rules.

Be smart: The ruling is also a rejection of the Trump-era FCC's philosophy that has pushed to deregulate legacy industries, like broadcast, to allow them to better compete with Big Tech.

What they're saying: Democratic FCC Commissioners are lauding the decision. Republicans are furious.

What's next: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai says the Commission will dispute the ruling.

Flashback: The local TV consolidation race is here

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
21 mins ago - Economy & Business

The Leon Black clock strikes midnight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Leon Black is "retiring" as CEO of Apollo Global Management, the alternative investment giant he has led since co-founding it in 1990. But he is not making a full break, as Black will remain chair of Apollo's board of directors.

Why it matters: This is the culmination of 18 months of head-in-the-sand obfuscation of Black's dealings with Jeffrey Epstein.

Reddit traders look to pummel Wall Street's old guard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Reddit traders are taking on Wall Street pros at their own game with this basic mantra: Stocks will always go up.

Why it matters: Their trades — egged on in Reddit threads — have played a role in historic market activity in recent days.

The week the Trump show ended

Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office, according to viewership data on the internet, on social media and on cable news.

Why it matters: After Trump crowded out nearly every other news figure and topic for five years, momentum of the new administration took hold last week and the former president retreated, partly by choice and partly by being forced off the big platforms.