On Tuesday, the FCC published its proposed (and long-awaited) revisions to its media ownership rules, which, according to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, would involve the elimination of the agency’s newspapertelevision cross-ownership ban in the 20 largest U.S. markets under certain conditions. Detailed in an agency news release, the proposal follows on a series of public FCC hearings that were conducted throughout the country on the topic of media ownership. Martin’s plan is also intended to address the concerns of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned the FCC’s 2003 media ownership order on grounds that the FCC failed to justify its rationale for lifting the crossownership ban that has been in place since the 1970s. Under the revised plan, a single entity would be allowed to own a newspaper and a television or radio station in the same market under the following conditions: (1) the newspaper and broadcast outlets must be located within one of the top 20 U.S. markets, (2) the purchaser may acquire a television station or a radio station, but not both, (3) in the case of a TV station purchase, at least eight other independently-owned newspapers and TV stations must remain within the market after the transaction, and (4) the purchase cannot include any of the top four TV stations in the market. Observing that, under the 2003 media ownership order, newspaper-television cross-ownership would have been permitted in the top 170 markets, Martin described the latest cross-ownership proposal as “modest.” While setting forth a comment deadline of December 11 that would lead to an agency vote on December 18, Martin said that the proposed rule changes respond to the emergence of new media outlets that have forced more than 300 daily newspapers to shut down over the past 30 years. John Sturm, the president of the Newspaper Association of America, lamented, however, that Martin’s “extremely limited” plan “does not go far enough to deal with” the vast economic pressures faced by the U.S. newspaper industry. Conversely, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, an outspoken critic of the 2003 media ownership order, voiced concern that Tuesday’s proposal “could do considerable damage” as the top 20 U.S. markets represent “over 43% of U.S. households.”