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FCC asks: Do media ownership limits make sense?

Even the news industry's free fall probably will not be enough to wipe out complicated federal rules designed to restrain the power of media companies.

For decades, the Federal Communications Commission has imposed strict limits preventing any company from controlling too many media properties in the same market. These limits were established to ensure that communities have choices of newspapers and local TV and radio stations.

Congress requires the FCC to take a hard look at the rules every four years to determine whether they still serve the public interest. If they don't, the FCC has to rewrite them.

Now, as the FCC kicks off its latest review, it faces calls to pare the limits because traditional media companies are no longer the almighty players that they were when the ownership rules were first enacted.

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