At the time CEI put its media businesses up for sale, FCC rules allowed one company to own all these media outlets. WHIO-TV, the Dayton Daily News, K99.1 FM and WHIO Radio have operated as one business for a decade, housed in the same building on Main Street in Dayton, and have been owned by the same company for more than 60 years. That joint ownership was grandfathered in.
But in October 2019, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FCC’s rules were invalid, and it reinstated previous rules that prohibit one company from owning both the dominant broadcast media and a daily newspaper in the same market.
In November, the FCC approved the CEI-Apollo sale, but it required Apollo to reduce the daily newspapers to three print days a week to comply with the court’s ruling. It gave Apollo until Jan. 16 to implement the three-day schedule. On Tuesday, the FCC extended that deadline until March 16.
“We find that it is in the public interest to grant the extension request,” the FCC said in a letter to Terrier Media (operating as Cox Media Group). “Specifically, we find that allowing Terrier Media to operate the Dayton newspapers through March 16, 2020, will advance the Commission’s goal of localism by preserving the ability of the Dayton newspapers to maintain continuous daily readership until a buyer for the Dayton newspapers is finalized.”
Cox Media Group said it expects to have a buyer before the March 16 deadline.