In a second major announcement this week, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the FCC will launch proceedings next month on a sweeping review of the agency’s media regulations, maintaining that, “given the realities of today’s media marketplace, we need to see which rules are still necessary and which should be relaxed or repealed.”

Addressing an audience of broadcast industry executives at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, Pai confirmed Tuesday that he has already circulated a draft notice among his fellow commissioners “that would kick off this review” at the FCC’s May 18 open meeting. Pai told his listeners that “our goal is simple: to have rules that reflect the world of 2017, not 2007, 1997, 1987 or 1977” as he lamented that “rules that get on the books seem to stay there forever, even when they’re no longer needed or counterproductive,” As he stressed to broadcasters that “we’ll want to hear which rules you think should be relaxed or repealed as part of this review, and why,” Pai hinted that the newspaper/broadcast cross ownership ban--which was enacted in 1975 and which the FCC decided to retain last year as part of its Quadrennial Review order, which also preserved many other media ownership restrictions—would be a prime candidate for the chopping block. Declaring that it is “critical . . . for our media ownership rules to match the modern marketplace,” Pai argued, “it seems pretty clear that many of them don’t—including one dating back to 1975.” Pai further specified that, “while our broadcast regulations will be a critical subject of this proceeding, we will also review rules pertaining to cable and direct broadcast satellite.”

On a separate, but related subject, Pai said the FCC will also consider a rulemaking proposal at the May 18 meeting that would seek to eliminate rules which require radio and TV licensees to maintain a main studio facility in or near their respective communities of license. As he declared himself “fundamentally optimistic” about the future of U.S. broadcasting, Pai reiterated the FCC’s commitment to ensuring a “smooth and efficient” channel repacking process in the wake of the recently-completed incentive auction, while promising the agency’s best effort in “making sure that no protected television broadcaster is forced to go dark.” Agreeing that the time has come for the FCC “to comb through cable and broadcasting regulations in search of rules that are out of step,” American Cable Association President Matthew Polka announced that his organization “looks forward to filing comments and offering specific, data-backed recommendations and guidance.”