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Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2006

Publication Citation

58 Federal Communications Law Journal 169 (2006)

Abstract

The Third Circuit's rejection of the FCC's application of its Diversity Index in setting Cross-Media Limits in Prometheus Radio Project v. FCC represented a significant setback for the FCC's media ownership policies. This Article argues that the FCC's Diversity Index is fatally flawed because it fails to simultaneously account for two assumptions shared by the FCC and the Third Circuit: diversity in a media market increases with ownership concentration, and an individual entity's contribution to diversity increases with the weighted market shares of that entity's outlets. The Author proposes an alternative index that does satisfy both assumptions before applying the proposed index to a sample test case using the FCC's Altoona, Pennsylvania sample market. After applying the proposed Hill Index and the Noam Index to the Altoona sample market, the Author argues that both represent better approaches to media diversity than the FCC's Diversity Index. Ultimately, the Article concludes that the adoption of an alternative to the FCC's Diversity Index is an important first step to binding regulators from abusing discretion in making Cross-Media Limits decisions.