The World: Washington - FCC under strong pressure not to rush review

The Federal Communications Commission is under pressure from US senators and public interest groups not to rush ahead with its review of media ownership rules.

Kevin Martin, the FCC chairman, is eager to finish the review and issue new rules by the end of the year, but critics claim he is being hasty.

The FCC rules determine how many TV and radio stations a company can own in a market, and if one company can own both a local newspaper and a local TV station. The rules were relaxed in 2003, but a federal appeals court threw them out, claiming the FCC had not proved the changes were necessary.

In a letter to Martin, Senators Byron Dorgan and Trent Lott said they did not believe the FCC had adequately considered the impact of media consolidation on local programming.