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The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday issued the full text of its recently adopted media ownership rules, a key step in lifting regulatory barriers to newspaper, TV and radio company mergers. Details of the FCC’s report originally were expected three weeks ago, but were delayed because of an abundance of written comments on the rules from the agency’s commissioners, sources close to the FCC said. The agency voted June 2 to loosen limits on media mergers. The release of the full 257-page report also lends momentum to a plan by Sen. Byron Dorgan to thwart adoption of the new media rules. A spokesman for Dorgan said the North Dakota Democrat plans to call for a “legislative veto,” which would void the regulations if a majority of lawmakers in the Senate and House support the procedure. The Senator could not introduce the veto, also known as a resolution of disapproval, until the full media ownership report was introduced. The spokesman said Dorgan will introduce the veto measure when lawmakers return from the July 4 congressional recess. Despite an onslaught of public and congressional opposition to the media regulations, the report closely mirrors the June 2 rules. The FCC will proceed with its implementation of the rules rather than wait until Congress completes legislative proceedings on the controversial regulations, as FCC Commissioner Michael Copps requested. An FCC spokeswoman said that barring congressional intervention the new rules are expected to take effect by early September. In a bipartisan vote June 19 the Senate Commerce Committee passed legislation to repeal several of the FCC’s revised media ownership caps. Among the lawmakers backing the measure is Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens. As chairman of the panel, the Alaska Republican could bolster the effort to roll back the media rules by attaching a rider to the FCC’s 2004 appropriations bill. Copyright �2003 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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