As expected, the FCC voted to approve a waiver that will allow the Tribune sale to move forward. See the story from Washington Post.
Look at Chairman Martin's comments from a few weeks ago, justifying the elimination of cross-ownership restrictions in the top 20 markets, then compare them to the Tribune circumstances. Martin's comments sound as though they are meant to protect the poor mom-and-pop local daily papers, the ones without sufficient resources to collect and report on local news. In Martin's logic, allowing newspapers and local TV stations will enable them to combine their news rooms and better serve their communities.
Does anyone - a single person - believe that the Tribune sale represents the plight of local news coverage and is a means to safeguard local interests and reporting? Well, even if our current Republican administration has lost sight of traditional conservative values like small federal governments and reduced spending, at least the 3-2 party line vote shows that the FCC Republicans are unashamedly still supportive of big business, even if it is at the expense of the public at large.