WASHINGTON, D.C.—Womble Bond Dickinson attorney John Garziglia contributed the headline article in the July 16 edition of Radio Ink, discussing radio station ownership rules. Garziglia advocates that a limited national ownership cap can benefit local radio station owners and listeners.

The FCC is expected to reconsider current rules that limit an owner to eight or fewer stations in larger markets, with no more than five of those stations being on the FM band. Some within the industry argue those caps should be removed to better improve radio’s ability to compete with online streaming services.

However, Garziglia warns the result could be a negative for consumers.

“Rather than there being multiple competitors in local markets, there would be the potential of one dominant national owner. And that dominant owner would be forever ensconced as there will never be additional full-market-coverage radio stations,” he writes.

Garziglia said that rather than allowing a few large broadcasters to dominate local ownership, and eventually force smaller competitors out of business, the FCC should take steps “to preserve the local nature of radio.”

For example, he advocates a limited national cap on radio ownership – perhaps 50 or fewer stations nationwide.

“Radio broadcasters would then have a choice. Be small, local, and hyper-focused in several markets, owning most or all of the stations in those markets. Or, be big but not own all of the radio stations in a market,” Garziglia writes.

Click here to read “Radio Zoning: How A Limited National Ownership Cap Can Improve The Local Radio Landscape” in Radio Ink. 

John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.