News Ticker

House bill introduced to grandfather JSAs

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Illinois)

A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a bill Tuesday that would exempt TV stations in joint sales agreements from unwinding them under a new Federal Communications Commission rule.

The FCC’s rule prohibits any TV joint sales agreements where the station sold more than 15 percent of the advertising time on a competing station.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) introduced the bill, which would grandfather currently JSAs allowed by the FCC prior to the new rule passed in March 2014 in a party-line vote.

JSAs have been a common practice among TV stations in small and medium-sized markets to reduce costs so that dollars can be used for local news and information during emergencies.

“The FCC says their controversial rule is intended to prevent media monopolies, but the commission has failed to complete a required review of media ownership rules in more than six years,” Shimkus said. “I’m pleased to have bipartisan support for this legislation to protect vital local news and weather broadcasts from FCC’s ill-informed rule.”

The bill is the counterpart to a bipartisan Senate bill introduced in May by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) that passed the commerce committee last month. 

Original co-sponsors of the House bill are: Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.), Billy Long (R-Mo.), Dutch Ruppersbkerger (D-Md.), Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Greg Walden (R-Ore.)