Wednesday, May 28, 2003

An ode to Rupe. Media Log would be very surprised if Rupert Murdoch repurchased the Boston Herald as soon as the FCC's cross-ownership rules are dropped next week. As I wrote last Friday, Herald owner (and former Murdoch lieutenant) Pat Purcell may be going through a rough patch, but there are no signs that the wheels are coming off just yet.

But five years from now? Three? One? Well, who knows? And even if Purcell finds a way to maintain his independence, that doesn't mean deregulation won't present opportunities to do some kind of joint venture with his old boss, who owns Boston's WFXT-TV (Channel 25).

So it's predictable, I guess, that today's Herald offers a full-throated paean to Rupe -- a fight song presented in the form of an editorial, complete with attacks on the "loony left," Ted Kennedy, and the Boston Globe.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post's Frank Ahrens reports that progressive media groups continue to battle against what had been a foregone conclusion -- that the FCC would drop its rule against someone's owning newspapers and television stations in the same market, and also let companies own TV stations that reach 45 percent of the national audience, up from the current 35 percent.

Particularly aggressive is, which has reportedly gathered 170,000 signatures in opposition to the deregulatory scheme.

This fight may not be over yet.

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