FCC Rule Change

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    A major set of FCC rule changes approved this week could affect Connecticut in a number of ways.

    The FCC voted to allow broadcast companies to own two stations in the same market and enter into agreements to operate additional stations they do not directly own. The FCC also voted to overturn a ban on broadcasters owning newspapers in the same market.

    The dual ownership rule changes will make it easier for Sinclair Broadcast Group to buy Tribune Media, owner of Fox 61 and WCCT in Connecticut.

    The decision to allow broadcasters to own newspapers could potentially lead to a change in the relationship between Fox 61 and the Hartford Courant. Both properties were originally part of the Tribune family, the Courant is now owned by Tronc, a Tribune spinoff.

    Finally, in a state with several struggling newspapers, there may be opportunities for broadcasters to acquire a newspaper if the broadcaster were looking to enhance news coverage.