BRIEF: FCC asked to block part of Belo/Gannett deal

UPDATE, 1 p.m.: A coalition made up of Free Press, Common Cause, the Institute for Public Representation, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ Inc., NABET-CWA and The Newspaper Guild-CWA have also petitioned the FCC to block at least parts of the Belo-Gannett deal. Mark Miller of TVNewsCheck has the full story.

Variety reports this morning that the American Cable Association, Time Warner Cable and DirecTV are asking the FCC to block part of the proposed Belo-Gannett merger.

Citing the plan to use what they call "a series of shills or ‘third-party sidecars,'" the companies complained that while Gannett will technically divest itself of Belo assets in certain markets (including St. Louis and Louisville), "Gannett will retain effective control of all of these stations through various sharing agreements under which it will establish duopolies in each."

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