The Bush Administration won't appeal a court ruling throwing out new FCC rules that would have made it legal for media giants to own TV stations and newspapers in the same city. Tribune and other companies still plan to ask the Supreme Court to intervene, "but without government support their odds of persuading the court to hear the case are remote," a Chicago Tribune story today says. Tribune needs the new rules, or a federal exemption, in order to hang on to both KTLA Channel 5 and the Times. It also has ownership conflicts in New York, Hartford and South Florida. Editor & Publisher, LAT and New York Times carry stories as well.
Also Friday: Tribune earnings plunged 35% this quarter, though the fall was expected. Revenue from its newspapers was up 1%, "but the company said circulation revenues were down 6%, mainly due to declines in Los Angeles and New York." (E&P)