Roadmap to approve new broadcasters

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Roadmap to approve new broadcasters

The nation’s broadcasting policy maker established a roadmap for approving new terrestrial broadcast stations and all-news channels as newspaper companies fight to enter television amid a struggling print market.

The Korea Communications Commission said Tuesday its task force had come up with three different plans to draw applicants and determine the winners. The commission will select one of the plans after holding public hearings and experts’ meetings in September.

“The roadmap means the issue has entered the main stage of discussion,” Kim Jun-sang, broadcasting policy director at the commission, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Concerning contended issues like the selection criteria, we presented multiple suggestions from a neutral view,” he said, “And we also made sure the selection criteria are strict so that capable applicants can be chosen.”

Based on the task force’s plans and outside opinions, the commission will select the winners by December, though the number of licenses to be awarded is still undecided.

One suggestion would be to give broadcasting licenses to all applicants who meet certain criteria. Another would set a limit and choose the highest-scoring applicants.

The selection criteria will focus on the applicants’ ability to be fair and responsible as well as their content and capital supply.

Applicants for terrestrial broadcasting licenses should have at least 300 billion won ($255 million) in paid-in capital to cover one year of operational expenses, the commission said. Those applying to start an all-news channel should have at least 40 billion won. Cross ownership of a terrestrial broadcast station and an all-news channel will be banned.

Three mass-circulation dailies, the Chosun Ilbo, the JoongAng Ilbo and the Dong-a Ilbo, as well as the two leading economic dailies, the Maeil Business Newspaper and the Korea Economic Daily, are hoping to secure a license.

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