Oct 31, 2017

Media deregulation blitz hits

AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File

The FCC is taking up several key measures that could make way for even more media consolidation under the Trump Administration, after it already signed off on a rule change that cleared the way for the Sinclair-Tribune deal. These rules were put in place decades ago to maintain a diversity of voices in local markets.

Why it matters: The Trump Administration's laissez-faire approach to media and telecom regulation is part of what has allowed media deals to reach a two-year high in Q3.

TV, newspaper ownership rule — Per Reuters: "The Federal Communications Commission will vote at its November meeting to rollback landmark media ownership regulations that limit the ability of companies to own multiple TV stations and newspapers in the same market and remove other restrictions, Chairman Ajit Pai told a congressional panel Wednesday." Per The Washington Post's Brian Fung: "The FCC vote, expected Nov. 16, could also eliminate a rule that prevents TV stations in the same market from merging if the outcome leads to fewer than eight independent stations operating in that market."Studio elimination rule: Per Variety's Ted Johnson: "The FCC on Tuesday voted to eliminate a rule that required broadcast station groups to maintain a physical presence in the community of their primary local coverage area, a move that critics say will help mediacompanies further consolidate their operations and even be a boost to the ambitions of Sinclair Broadcast Group."What they're saying: Proponents of repealing them (mostly newspapers and broadcast companies) say a new economic solution is needed for local media to survive in the digital age. Opponents (mostly Democrats) worry it could have an impact on democracy and emergency communications.

Go deeper

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.