What Is Cross Media Ownership?

Cross-media ownership is when a company owns media in more than one broadcast category, such as owning both a television station and a radio station.

The Federal Communications Commission imposes restrictions on cross-media ownership. One such restriction is that a daily newspaper and full-power broadcast radio station cannot be owned by the same organization if the newspaper is published in a city that is within the radio station's service area.

The FCC allows organizations to own an unlimited number of television stations, with the caveat that all of the stations an entity owns must not reach more than 39 percent of the households in the United States in total. An organization is allowed to own two local television stations, provided that the stations do not share a service area or at least one of the stations is not a top-four station in the designated market area. A single entity cannot own more than one local television station if doing so would result in there being less than eight independently owned stations in a market. A single entity is allowed to own both radio stations and television stations, but the number it can own of each depends on the number of certain media outlets in the market.