Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

110th Congress 
 2d Session                      SENATE                          Report
                                                                110-461
_______________________________________________________________________

                                     


                                                       Calendar No. 966


                      MEDIA OWNERSHIP ACT OF 2007

                               __________

                              R E P O R T

                                 OF THE

           COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION

                                   on

                                S. 2332



                                     

               September 15, 2008.--Ordered to be printed


       SENATE COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, SCIENCE, AND TRANSPORTATION
                       one hundred tenth congress
                             second session

                   DANIEL K. INOUYE, Hawaii, Chairman
JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER IV, West         KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas
    Virginia                         TED STEVENS, Alaska
JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts         JOHN McCAIN, Arizona
BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota        OLYMPIA J. SNOWE, Maine
BARBARA BOXER, California            GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon
BILL NELSON, Florida                 JOHN ENSIGN, Nevada
MARIA CANTWELL, Washington           JOHN E. SUNUNU, New Hampshire
FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey      JIM DeMINT, South Carolina
MARK PRYOR, Arkansas                 DAVID VITTER, Louisiana
THOMAS CARPER, Delaware              JOHN THUNE, South Dakota
CLAIRE McCASKILL, Missouri           ROGER F. WICKER, Mississippi
AMY KLOBUCHAR, Minnesota
          Margaret Cummisky, Staff Director and Chief Counsel
         Lila Helms, Deputy Staff Director and Policy Director
       Jean Toal Eisen, Senior Advisor and Deputy Policy Director
     Christine Kurth, Republican Staff Director and General Counsel
                Paul J. Nagle, Republican Chief Counsel
             Mimi Braniff, Republican Deputy Chief Counsel
                                                       Calendar No. 966
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     110-461

======================================================================



 
                      MEDIA OWNERSHIP ACT OF 2007

                                _______
                                

               September 15, 2008.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

       Mr. Inouye, from the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation, submitted the following

                                 REPORT

                         [To accompany S. 2332]

    The Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to 
which was referred the bill (S. 2332) to promote transparency 
in the adoption of new media ownership rules by the Federal 
Communications Commission, and to establish an independent 
panel to make recommendations on how to increase the 
representation of women and minorities in broadcast media 
ownership, having considered the same, reports favorably 
thereon with amendments, and recommends that the bill (as 
amended) do pass.

                          Purpose of the Bill

  The purpose of S. 2332 is to promote local programming and 
content in media by requiring the Federal Communications 
Commission (FCC) to seek public comment on any proposed changes 
to media ownership rules, to conduct a rulemaking to examine 
the impact of media ownership on local programming, and to 
solicit expert recommendations on how to increase minority and 
female ownership of broadcast media.

                          Background and Needs

  For decades the FCC has sought to ensure that the allocation 
of broadcast licenses serves the public interest and promotes 
the core values of competition, diversity, and localism. As was 
noted by the Supreme Court more than 50 years ago, the First 
Amendment ``rests on the assumption that the widest possible 
dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic 
sources is essential to the welfare of the public.'' Associated 
Press v. United States, 326 U.S. 1 (1945).
  The Communications Act of 1934 provides the FCC with the 
authority to grant licenses for the use of broadcast 
facilities, consistent with the ``public interest, convenience, 
and necessity.'' The FCC views broadcasters as trustees of the 
public airwaves and imposes restrictions and obligations on 
broadcasters accordingly. The Supreme Court has upheld the 
regulation of broadcasters pursuant to public trustee 
constraints as constitutional since the Red Lion case was 
decided (Red Lion Broadcasting Company v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 
(1969)). Pursuant to this authority, the FCC has policies 
limiting both the national and local ownership of broadcast 
licenses.
  Initially, the FCC reviewed common ownership issues on a 
case-by-case basis. As the industry developed, the FCC adopted 
bright-line rules addressing license ownership in national and 
local media markets, consistent with the public interest. Among 
other things, FCC rules limit the number of television stations 
and radio stations a single company can own in one market. In 
addition, the FCC's newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule 
prohibits the ownership of a television or radio station and 
the daily newspaper in the same market.
  With the enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 
(1996 Act), Congress significantly loosened media ownership 
limits. The 1996 Act eliminated limits on national radio 
ownership and raised the cap on national television audience 
reach from 25 to 35 percent. The Act also eased local radio 
ownership limits by creating a sliding scale limit that allowed 
for as many as eight co-owned radio stations in the largest 
markets. The 1996 Act also mandated that the FCC review its 
media ownership rules every two years to ``determine whether 
any of such rules are necessary in the public interest as the 
result of competition.''

                          2002 BIENNIAL REVIEW

  In 2002, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking 
announcing that the agency would review its full range of 
broadcast ownership rules. The public was asked to comment on 
the continued viability of these rules, in light of changes in 
the media marketplace and recent court decisions.\1\ On June 2, 
2003, led by then-FCC Chairman Michael Powell, the agency 
adopted its 2002 Biennial Review decision, relaxing many of the 
FCC's media ownership rules.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \1\ See Sinclair Broad. Group, Inc. v. FCC, 284 F.3d 148 (D.C. Cir. 
2002).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  The revised rules included a national television audience 
reach cap of 45 percent. With respect to local television 
ownership, the revised rules permitted one company to own two 
stations in markets with five or more television stations and 
three stations in markets with 18 or more television stations. 
With respect to local radio ownership, the revised rule 
retained existing caps, but adjusted the way stations are 
counted. The revised rules combined the radio/television and 
newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership restrictions into a single 
new media cross-ownership rule. Under this proposed rule, in 
markets with three or fewer television stations, no cross-
ownership was permitted among television stations, radio 
stations, and daily newspapers in the same market. In markets 
with four to eight television stations, combinations were 
limited to one of the following: (1) a daily newspaper, one 
television station, and up to half of the radio station limit 
for that market; (2) a daily newspaper and up to the radio 
station limit for that market; or (3) two television stations 
and up to the radio station limit for that market. In markets 
with nine or more television stations, any combination that 
otherwise complies with the local television and local radio 
ownership rules was permitted. As a result, in a large market, 
one company could theoretically own as many as eight radio 
stations, three television stations, a daily newspaper, and the 
cable company.
  The revised rules faced significant public criticism. In 
response to the 2002 Biennial Review decision, more than three 
million individuals complained to the FCC. Congress also voiced 
its opposition. On September 16, 2003, the Senate voted 55-40 
to support a ``resolution of disapproval'' of the FCC decision, 
pursuant to the Congressional Review Act. In addition, in 
omnibus appropriations legislation in 2004, Congress rolled 
back the FCC's new national television ownership cap from 45 to 
39 percent.
  Appeals of the FCC's 2002 Biennial Review decision were 
consolidated in the Third Circuit. On June 24, 2004, the Third 
Circuit affirmed the FCC's general authority ``to regulate 
media ownership,'' but remanded to the FCC the bulk of its rule 
changes in the 2002 Biennial Review decision for further 
justification and record support.\2\ The court also largely 
stayed the FCC's new rules from the 2002 Biennial Review 
decision. As a result, the agency's previous rules continue to 
govern media ownership in this country. On June 13, 2005, the 
United States Supreme Court denied the petitions for the writ 
of certiorari seeking review of Prometheus.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \2\ See Prometheus Radio Project, et al. v. FCC, 373 F. 3d 372 (3rd 
Cir. 2004) (Prometheus).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  On June 21, 2006, the FCC adopted a notice of proposed 
rulemaking seeking comment on the issues raised by the 
Prometheus remand, pursuant to its duty under section 202(h) of 
the 1996 Act which now requires the agency to review its media 
ownership rules on a quadrennial basis.\3\ As part of its 
efforts to seek public comment, the FCC held six public field 
hearings across the United States. On November 13, 2007, FCC 
Chairman Kevin Martin published an editorial in The New York 
Times calling for the FCC to roll back its media ownership 
rules in order to permit newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership in 
the top 20 markets. Subsequently, on December 13, 2007, the 
Committee held a hearing on FCC oversight during which several 
members requested the FCC take additional time to solicit 
comment and consider its proposed changes to its media 
ownership rules. Just a month after the Martin editorial, on 
December 18, 2007, the FCC concluded its rulemaking by 
approving a revised set of ownership rules under which 
newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership is presumptively 
permissible in the top 20 markets. For other markets, the 
Commission determined that it would review transactions on a 
case-by-case basis, subject to a negative presumption, which 
may be overcome through evaluating: the level of concentration 
in the market; whether or not the combined entity will 
significantly increase the amount of local news in the market; 
whether or not the combined newspaper and broadcast outlets 
will continue to employ their own editorial staff; and the 
financial condition of the newspaper or broadcast station in 
the proposed combination, or if the newspaper or broadcast 
station is in financial distress, the proposed owner's 
commitment to invest significantly in newsroom operations.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \3\ 2006 Quadrennial Regulatory Review--Review of the Commission's 
Broadcast Ownership Rules and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 
202 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Further Notice of Proposed 
Rule Making, 21 FCC Rcd 8834 (2006); see also 2006 Quadrennial 
Regulatory Review--Review of the Commission's Broadcast Ownership Rules 
and Other Rules Adopted Pursuant to Section 202 of the 
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule 
Making, 22 FCC Rcd 14215 (2007).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                         INDUSTRY CONSOLIDATION

  The decade leading up to the 2002 Biennial Review decision 
was a period of significant change in the media marketplace. In 
the broadcast television industry, the number of television 
station owners decreased by approximately 40 percent between 
1995 and 2003. According to studies recently conducted by the 
FCC, these trends have continued albeit at slower pace. Between 
2002 and 2005, the number of commercial television station 
owners decreased about four percent and the number of 
commercial radio station owners decreased by eight percent.\3\ 
During the same period the number of television/radio 
combinations increased by more than 20 percent.\4\ As a result 
of this increase in concentration, there are fewer local owners 
of radio and television broadcast stations. Studies suggest 
that local owners of broadcast media provide more local news 
programming.\5\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \4\ Media Ownership Study Two: Ownership Structure and Robustness 
of Media by Kiran Duwadi, Scott Roberts, and Andrew Wise revised 
September 5, 2007 at 5-6.
    \5\ Id. at 5.
    \6\ See, e.g., Alexander, Peter J. and Brown, Keith. ``Do Local 
Owners Deliver More Localism? Some Evidence from Local Broadcast 
News.'' FCC Working Paper (2004).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
  Consolidation in the media marketplace has left women and 
minorities with only a limited ownership interest. According to 
a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation 
``[w]hile there are no reliable government data on ownership by 
women and minorities, ownership of broadcast outlets by these 
groups appears limited. According to the industry stakeholders 
and experts we interviewed, the level is limited, and recent 
studies generally support this conclusion.''\6\ In testimony 
before the Committee on November 8, 2007, Alex Nogales, 
President of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, stated 
``[m]ore than a third of Americans are people of color. Yet 
they own less than 3% of television stations and less than 8% 
of radio stations--and these numbers are going down, not up.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
    \7\ Letter from JayEtta Z. Hecker, GAO, to the Honorable Edward J. 
Markey, dated December 14, 2007, at 9.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

                          Legislative History

  On November 8, 2007, the Committee held a hearing to examine 
the effects of media ownership consolidation on localism and 
diversity in news and entertainment. Senator Dorgan introduced 
S. 2332 on the same day with Senators Lott, Kerry, Bill Nelson, 
Cantwell, Snowe, Biden, Clinton, Feinstein, and Obama as 
original cosponsors.
  On December 4, 2007, the Committee held an executive session 
at which S. 2332 was considered. The bill was approved by voice 
vote, as modified by a managers' amendment offered by Senator 
Dorgan.
  On December 13, 2007, the Committee held a hearing on FCC 
oversight during which several members spoke at length 
aboutChairman Martin's proposed role changes, as described in his 
editorial in The New York Times. On December 14, 2007, twenty-six 
Senators signed a letter to Chairman Martin urging a further period of 
comment on the Chairman's proposed rule changes. On December 18, 2007, 
the FCC approved a revised set of ownership rules under which 
newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership is permissible in the top 20 
markets.
  Staff assigned to this legislation are Jessica Rosenworcel, 
Democratic Senior Communications Counsel, Alex Hoehn-Saric, 
Democratic Communications Counsel, Paul Nagle, Republican Chief 
Counsel, and Michael Engel, Detailee.

                            Estimated Costs

  In accordance with paragraph 11(a) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate and section 403 of the 
Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee provides the 
following cost estimate, prepared by the Congressional Budget 
Office:

                                                  January 16, 2008.
Hon. Daniel K. Inouye,
Chairman, Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for S. 2332, the Media 
Ownership Act of 2007.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Susan Willie.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.

S. 2332--Media Ownership Act of 2007

    S. 2332 would require the Federal Communications Commission 
(FCC) to follow certain schedules for notice and public comment 
periods when changing any of its regulations related to the 
ownership of broadcast organizations. The bill would require 
the FCC to provide a 90-day period when notice of such change 
is offered and a 60-day period for public comment on the 
proposed regulations. The bill also would require the FCC to 
respond within 30 days to public comments received during the 
period set aside for such comments.
    Before voting on any changes in rules governing the 
ownership of broadcast and newspaper organizations, the bill 
would require the FCC to study the effect of such cross-
ownership (broadcast and newspaper organizations owned by one 
entity) on the availability and quality of local programming by 
radio and television stations and newspapers. The bill also 
would establish an independent panel that would make 
recommendations to increase the number of broadcast 
organizations that are owned by women and minorities.
    Based on information from the FCC, CBO estimates that 
implementing S. 2332 would cost less than $500,000, subject to 
the availability of appropriated funds, to provide a report on 
media concentration to the independent panel. Enacting the bill 
would not affect direct spending or revenues.
    S. 2332 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act and 
would not affect the budgets of state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Susan Willie. 
This estimate was approved by Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

  In accordance with paragraph 11(b) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides the 
following evaluation of the regulatory impact of the 
legislation, as reported:

                       NUMBER OF PERSONS COVERED

  The number of persons covered by this legislation would be 
consistent with current levels of individuals affected.

                            ECONOMIC IMPACT

  S. 2332 would have a positive impact on the nation's economy 
by encouraging female and minority ownership of media outlets.

                                PRIVACY

  S. 2332 is not expected to have an adverse effect on the 
personal privacy of any individuals that will be impacted by 
this legislation.

                               PAPERWORK

  S. 2332 would have minimal impact on current paperwork 
levels.

                   Congressionally Directed Spending

  In compliance with paragraph 4(b) of rule XLIV of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee provides that no 
provisions contained in the bill, as reported, meet the 
definition of congressionally directed spending items under the 
rule.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

  Section 1 would establish the Act as the Media Ownership Act 
of 2007.
  Section 2 would amend section 202 of the Telecommunications 
Act of 1996 to require the FCC to: (1) publish any proposed 
modifications to its broadcast ownership regulations at least 
90 days prior to a vote and provide at least 60 days for public 
comment; (2) complete a separate rulemaking on localism before 
voting on changes to broadcast ownership regulations, including 
a study to determine the impact of station duopolies and 
newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership on the quantity and quality 
of local news, public affairs, local news media jobs, and local 
cultural programming; and (3) convene an independent panel to 
make recommendations to the FCC regarding specific rules to 
increase women and minority ownership of broadcast media, 
conduct an accurate census of the state of women and minority 
ownership of broadcast media, and have the FCC act on the 
panel's recommendations before voting on changes to broadcast 
ownership regulations.

                        Changes in Existing Law

  In compliance with paragraph 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill, 
as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new material is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman):

                     TELECOMMUNICATIONS ACT OF 1996

SEC. 202. BROADCAST OWNERSHIP.

  (a) National Radio Station Ownership Rule Changes Required.--
The Commission shall modify section 73.3555 of its regulations 
(47 C.F.R. 73.3555) by eliminating any provisions limiting the 
number of AM or FM broadcast stations which may be owned or 
controlled by one entity nationally.
  (b) Local Radio Diversity.--
          (1) Applicable caps.--The Commission shall revise 
        section 73.3555(a) of its regulations (47 C.F.R. 
        73.3555) to provide that--
                  (A) in a radio market with 45 or more 
                commercial radio stations, a party may own, 
                operate, or control up to 8 commercial radio 
                stations, not more than 5 of which are in the 
                same service (AM or FM);
                  (B) in a radio market with between 30 and 44 
                (inclusive) commercial radio stations, a party 
                may own, operate, or control up to 7 commercial 
                radio stations, not more than 4 of which are in 
                the same service (AM or FM);
                  (C) in a radio market with between 15 and 29 
                (inclusive) commercial radio stations, a party 
                may own, operate, or control up to 6 commercial 
                radio stations, not more than 4 of which are in 
                the same service (AM or FM); and
                  (D) in a radio market with 14 or fewer 
                commercial radio stations, a party may own, 
                operate, or control up to 5 commercial radio 
                stations, not more than 3 of which are in the 
                same service (AM or FM), except that a party 
                may not own, operate, or control more than 50 
                percent of the stations in such market.
          (2) Exception.--Notwithstanding any limitation 
        authorized by this subsection, the Commission may 
        permit a person or entity to own, operate, or control, 
        or have a cognizable interest in, radio broadcast 
        stations if the Commission determines that such 
        ownership, operation, control, or interest will] result 
        in an increase in the number of radio broadcast 
        stations in operation.
  (c) Television Ownership Limitations.--
          (1) National ownership limitations.--The Commission 
        shall modify its rules for multiple ownership set forth 
        in section 73.3555 of its regulations (47 C.F.R. 
        73.3555)--
                  (A) by eliminating the restrictions on the 
                number of television stations that a person or 
                entity may directly or indirectly own, operate, 
                or control, or have a cognizable interest in, 
                nationwide; and
                  (B) by increasing the national audience reach 
                limitation for television stations to 35 
                percent.
          (2) Local ownership limitations.--The Commission 
        shall conduct a rulemaking proceeding to determine 
        whether to retain, modify, or eliminate its limitations 
        on the number of television stations that a person or 
        entity may own, operate, or control, or have a 
        cognizable interest in, within the same television 
        market.
  (d) Relaxation of One-To-A-Market.--With respect to its 
enforcement of its one-to-a-market ownership rules under 
section 73.3555 of its regulations, the Commission shall extend 
its waiver policy to any of the top 50 markets, consistent with 
the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
  (e) Dual Network Changes.--The Commission shall revise 
section 73.658(g) of its regulations (47 C.F.R. 658(g)) to 
permit a television broadcast station to affiliate with a 
person or entity that maintains 2 or more networks of 
television broadcast stations unless such dual or multiple 
networks are composed of--
          (1) two or more persons or entities that, on the date 
        of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, are 
        ``networks'' as defined in section 73.3613(a)(1) of the 
        Commission's regulations (47 C.F.R. 73.3613(a)(1)); or
          (2) any network described in paragraph (1) and an 
        English- language program distribution service that, on 
        such date, provides 4 or more hours of programming per 
        week on a national basis pursuant to network 
        affiliation arrangements with local television 
        broadcast stations in markets reaching more than 75 
        percent of television homes (as measured by a national 
        ratings service).
  (f) Cable Cross Ownership.--
          (1) Elimination of restrictions.--The Commission 
        shall revise section 76.501 of its regulations (47 
        C.F.R. 76.501) to permit a person or entity to own or 
        control a network of broadcast stations and a cable 
        system.
          (2) Safeguards against discrimination.--The 
        Commission shall revise such regulations if necessary 
        to ensure carriage, channel positioning, and 
        nondiscriminatory treatment of nonaffiliated broadcast 
        stations by a cable system described in paragraph (1).
  (g) Local Marketing Agreements.--Nothing in this section 
shall be construed to prohibit the origination, continuation, 
or renewal of any television local marketing agreement that is 
in compliance with the regulations of the Commission.
  (h) Further Commission Review.--The Commission shall review 
its rules adopted pursuant to this section and all of its 
ownership rules biennially as part of its regulatory reform 
review under section 11 of the Communications Act of 1934 and 
shall] determine whether any of such rules are necessary in the 
public interest as the result of competition. The Commission 
shall repeal or modify any regulation it determines to be no 
longer in the public interest. This subsection does not apply 
to any rules relating to the 39 percent national audience reach 
limitation in subsection (c)(1)(B).
  (i) Notice and Public Comment Requirement.--
          (1) In general.--In modifying, revising, or amending 
        any of its regulations related to broadcast ownership, 
        including any ownership rule or limitation set forth 
        under sections 73.3555, 73.658(g), or 76.501 of its 
        regulations (47 C.F.R. 73.3555, 73.658(g), 76.501), the 
        Commission shall--
                  (A) not later than 90 days prior to any vote 
                by the Commission on the adoption of such 
                modification, revision, or amendment publish 
                such prospective modification, revision, or 
                amendment in the Federal Register;
                  (B) after such publication provide the public 
                at least 60 days on which to comment on the 
                prospective modification, revision, or 
                amendment; and
                  (C) upon the expiration of the 60-day comment 
                period described under paragraph (2), have not 
                less than 30 days in which to reply to any such 
                comments.
          (2) Effective date.--
                  (A) In general.--The notice and public 
                comment requirements under paragraph (1) shall 
                apply to any attempt by the Commission to 
                modify, revise, or amend its regulations 
                related to broadcast and newspaper ownership 
                made after October 1, 2007.
                  (B) Failure to comply.--If the Commission 
                fails to comply with the notice and public 
                requirements under paragraph (1) with respect 
                to any modification, revision, or amendment to 
                which such requirements apply, then such 
                modification, revision, or amendment shall be 
                vitiated and shall be of no force and effect.
  (j) Promotion of Local Content in Media.--Before voting on 
any change in the broadcast and newspaper ownership rules in a 
proceeding made necessary by the decision of the U.S. Court of 
Appeals in Prometheus v. Federal Communications Commission, 
United States of America, (No. 03-3388) 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 
18390), the Commission shall initiate, conduct, and complete a 
separate rulemaking proceeding to promote the broadcast of 
local programming and content by broadcasters, including radio 
and television broadcast stations, and newspapers. Before 
publishing a modification, revision, or amendment of its 
broadcast ownership rules under subsection (i), the Commission 
shall--
          (1) complete a study to determine the overall impact 
        of television station duopolies and newspaper-broadcast 
        cross-ownership on the quantity and quality of local 
        news, public affairs, local news media jobs, and local 
        cultural programming at the market level;
          (2) publish a proposed final rule in the Federal 
        Register not later than 90 days prior to any vote by 
        the Commission on the adoption of the rule;
          (3) after such publication provide the public at 
        least 60 days on which to comment on the prospective 
        rule; and
          (4) upon the expiration of the 60-day comment period 
        described in paragraph (3), have not less than 30 days 
        in which to reply to any such comments.
  (k) Independent Panel on Women and Minority Ownership of 
Broadcast Media.--
          (1) Establishment.--The Commission shall establish 
        and convene an independent panel on women and minority 
        ownership of broadcast media to make recommendations to 
        the Commission for specific Commission rules to 
        increase the representation of women and minorities in 
        the ownership of broadcast media.
          (2) Census.--The Commission shall--
                  (A) conduct a full and accurate census of the 
                race and gender of individuals holding a 
                controlling interest in broadcast station 
                licensee;
                  (B) provide the results of the census to the 
                panel for its consideration before it makes any 
                recommendation to the Commission; and
                  (C) study the impact of media market 
                concentration on the representation of women 
                and minorities in the ownership of broadcast 
                media that takes into account the data in the 
                census and report the results of that study to 
                the panel for its consideration before it makes 
                any recommendation to the Commission.
          (3) Consideration of panel's recommendations.--The 
        Commission shall act on the panel's recommendations 
        before voting on any changes to its broadcast and 
        newspaper ownership rules.
  [(i)] (l) Elimination of Statutory Restriction.--Section 
613(a) (47 U.S.C. 533(a)) is amended--
          (1) by striking paragraph (1);
          (2) by redesignating paragraph (2) as subsection (a);
          (3) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) and (B) as 
        paragraphs (1) and (2), respectively;
          (4) by striking ``and'' at the end of paragraph (1) 
        (as so redesignated);
          (5) by striking the period at the end of paragraph 
        (2) (as so redesignated) and inserting ``; and''; and
          (6) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
          ``(3) shall not apply the requirements of this 
        subsection to any cable operator in any franchise area 
        in which a cable operator is subject to effective 
        competition as determined under section 623(l).''.