How the Future of Local Media Is on the Ballot in the 2020 Election

Tim Baysinger
·1 min read

The future of the local TV industry could very well come down to who wins Tuesday’s election between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden. Early next year, the Supreme Court will decide on a decades-old legal battle centered around the Federal Communications Commission’s attempts to make local media ownership rules less restrictive. The result could have a far-reaching impact on one of the oldest businesses in the TV industry. Local media, particularly TV stations, have been forced to abide by strict rules that stipulate, among many things, that no one company can own more than one of the top four stations in any single market. At the same time, there is a ban on in-market consolidation of stations if the result would lead to fewer than eight independently owned stations (called the “Eight Voices Rule”). Also Read: Supreme Court to Review FCC Push to Undo Media Ownership Restrictions “If Trump wins and the court sides with the FCC, consolidation is a foregone conclusion,” Sahak Manuelian, Wedbush’s managing director of equity trading. “What kind of disrupts this is if Biden wins and the FCC was turned to Democratic control. This agency now would probably, or likely, look to enforce stronger broadcast...

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