Thursday, January 27, 2005

That Liberal Media


WASHINGTON, Jan. 27 - The Bush administration has decided to abandon the effort by Michael K. Powell, the outgoing chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, to relax the regulations that have prevented the nation's largest media companies from growing bigger and entering new markets, government officials and industry lawyers briefed about the decision said today.

In a final slap at Mr. Powell, the Justice Department will not ask the United States Supreme Court to consider a decision last year by a federal appeals court in Philadelphia that sharply criticized the attempt to deregulate the rules and ordered the commission to reconsider its action.

Big media companies have been urging the administration to get involved in the case. But its decision not to recommend that the Supreme Court take the case sharply reduces the odds that the justices would intervene. The court had set next Monday as a deadline for the parties to file their initial papers in the appeal.


The deregulation of the rules had been advanced by most of the television networks and many large media companies, including the News Corporation, the Tribune Company, the Gannett Company and The New York Times Company.