Knight Center
Knight Center


FCC change may prevent Rupert Murdoch from buying LA Times

Rupert Murdoch. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

The recent resignation of Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), may put Rupert Murdoch’s attempt to buy the Los Angeles Times in jeopardy, according to a story published Monday, March 25 in the New York Times.  Genachowski had been seen as favorable to relaxing a rule that bans one company from owning TV stations and newspapers in the same market, added the Times.  News Corporation already owns KTTV and KCOP television stations in Los Angeles, according to FishbowlNY.

The FCC has said the vote on the new rule to relax ownership rules would move forward, said the Times.  However, the vote already faces delays since Genachowski said the vote could not be held until a study was completed on the effects of cross-ownership on newsgathering, added the paper. 

Genachowski had been a known advocate of changing the rules, saying the FCC needed to “streamline and modernize media ownership rules,” as quoted in a separate New York Times story from Nov. 2012. Courts threw out similar rule changes in 2007, according to

According to the story published Monday, News Corporation spent $6.3 million on lobbying in 2012, and has lobbied the FCC extensively to approve the rule changes.  Maureen O’Connell, News Corp’s senior VP for regulatory and government affairs, wrote a letter to the FCC in December calling the ban on cross ownership “a relic from a bygone era,” said the Times.

Many Los Angeles Times employees had reportedly been worried about Murdoch ownership, according to Media Matters.  In an interview, one LA Times reporter had called the possibility “horrifying beyond belief.”