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Secretary of Commerce Letter Re: In the Matter of 2002 Biennial Review - Review of the Commission's Broadcast Ownership Rules

Docket Number
MM Docket No. 02-277
Thursday, April 24, 2003
April 24, 2003

The Honorable Michael K. Powell
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, DC 20554

Re: In the Matter of 2002 Biennial Review - Review of the Commission's Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, MM Docket No. 02-277

Dear Mr. Chairman:

The Commission currently has open before it a comprehensive review of its media ownership rules. This proceeding presents an important opportunity for the Commission to update its rules to reflect the realities of the modern media marketplace, with its unprecedented proliferation of outlets for news and information.

The Commission has been looking at these issues since 2001, when it initiated separate proceedings on the newspaper/broadcast cross ownership rule and local radio ownership rule. The Commission's Biennial Review proceeding, which consolidated the prior proceedings with a review of all of the rules, has resulted in over 18,000 filings, 12 commissioned studies regarding the current state of the media marketplace, and a number of public hearings around the country. The Commission now has an extensive record on the subject. As you stated in your April 11, 2003, letter to Senator McCain, the current review is the most thorough and comprehensive in the 60-year history of the media ownership rules.

I commend the Commission on its hard work in gathering the evidence and opinions needed to make an informed decision. I further commend you, Mr. Chairman, for recognizing the need to resolve the uncertainty surrounding the potential rule changes and setting June 2, 2003, as the target date for a decision in this proceeding. On behalf of the Bush Administration, I urge the Commission to adhere to the schedule you have outlined.



Donald L. Evans


cc: The Honorable Kathleen Q. Abernathy
The Honorable Jonathan S. Adelstein
The Honorable Michael J. Copps
The Honorable Kevin J. Martin
W. Kenneth Ferree, Chief, Media Bureau