Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate amended (09/03/2003)

Preservation of Localism, Program Diversity, and Competition in Television Broadcast Service Act of 2003 - (Sec. 3) Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to prohibit the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from permitting any license for a commercial television broadcast station to be granted, transferred, or assigned to any party if such action would result in that party owning, operating, controlling, or having a cognizable interest in stations which have an aggregate national audience reach exceeding 35 percent. Requires any party currently having licenses in excess of such limit to divest as necessary to comply with such limit within one year.

(Sec. 4) Prohibits any party, after one year after the enactment of this Act, from exceeding the caps on local radio ownership established by the FCC in its media ownership proceeding.

(Sec. 5) Amends the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to require the FCC: (1) to biennially review its broadcast media ownership rules (current law) and to change, repeal, or retain such rules, as appropriate; and (2) before changing, repealing, or retaining a rule, to hold at least five public hearings in different areas of the United States.

(Sec. 7) Declares null and void the cross-media limits rule adopted by the FCC on June 2, 2003. Reinstates the previous rules pertaining to broadcast-newspaper and radio-television cross-ownership, to be applied retroactively to such date.

Allows the public utility commission of a State of a small (rural) market with a Designated Market Area of 150 or higher to recommend, on a case-by-case basis, that the FCC grant a waiver of its cross-ownership rules if the public utility commission finds that the proposed transaction for which the waiver is required will enhance local news and information, promote the financial stability of a newspaper, radio station, or television station, or otherwise promote the public interest. Authorizes the FCC to approve such recommendation within 60 days unless there is compelling evidence that the related transaction would be contrary to the public interest.