July 12, 2004
In a significant case addressing the scope of Federal Communications Commission regulations designed to promote diversity of viewpoints in mass media broadcasting, Kelley Drye successfully represented Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America, on a pro bono basis, in convincing the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit to overturn the FCC’s deregulation of media concentration safeguards. The appeal reversed the Commission’s well-publicized efforts, among other things, to replace several decades-old regulations limiting broadcast-newspaper cross ownership with a new “diversity index” that would have permitted television and radio stations in most markets nationwide to own the local newspaper as well.
The court also rejected the FCC’s attempt to include the Internet as a source of local news, and the Commission’s assumption that all broadcast television and radio stations have equal market share. These were central points Kelley Drye presented on behalf of its public interest clients. Kelley Drye’s involvement in this appeal epitomizes its commitment to pro bono representation of clients on matters of great public policy importance.