Hastings Communications and Entertainment Law Journal


In 1984-85, the Federal Communications Commission liberalized its rules governing multiple ownership of broadcast stations. Since then, television station ownership has undergone rapid change as stations and entire groups have become vehicles for quick capital gains by speculators. Elimination of the Commission's three-year holding rule, coupled with economic speculation and rising station values resulted in a marked increase in station trading and ownership instability. The author analyzes the Fowler Commission's multiple ownership rule and the elimination of the long held "anti-trafficking" policy and questions the wisdom of the latter in terms of industry instability.