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Ellis v. Tribune Television Co.

443 F.3d 71 (2006)

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Ellis v. Tribune Television Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

443 F.3d 71 (2006)

Facts

Tribune Television Company (Tribune) (defendant) owned a newspaper and two television stations in Hartford, Connecticut. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) had a rule against cross-ownership of newspapers and television stations. To avoid violating the cross-ownership rule, Tribune applied for a temporary waiver of the rule in 2001 while it attempted to sell its television interests. The FCC renewed Tribune’s temporary waiver, and Tribune applied for a permanent waiver in 2002 because it could not sell its television interests. Tribune’s temporary waiver expired before the FCC ruled on Tribune’s permanent-waiver request. Neil Ellis (plaintiff), a Hartford resident, brought a case in federal district court seeking a declaration that Tribune was in violation of the cross-ownership rule. In 2005 the district court granted Ellis’s motion for summary judgment against Tribune and ordered Tribune to comply with the cross-ownership rule. A few weeks later, the FCC denied Tribune’s permanent waiver request but extended Tribune’s temporary waiver through 2007. Tribune appealed the district court’s decision, arguing that the FCC had primary jurisdiction over the matter.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wesley, J.)

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