Here’s where media companies will feel the impact of the federal government shutdown most immediately and, for now, acutely. The FCC said this morning that it has suspended the 180-day clock it informally gives itself to determine whether pending deals comply with its rules and serve the public interest. That likely will affect Gannett’s $1.5B acquisition of Belo and Tribune’s $2.7B purchase of Local TV. The clock will restart on the business day after the government returns to what the FCC calls “normal operations.” If the budget impasse continues, the FCC might have to postpone the October 15-29 window for those who want to apply for low power FM radio licenses. The agency said last week that 98% of its 1,754 employees would be furloughed. It said today, though, that even during the shutdown it will have people who can be contacted “in the case of an emergency affecting the safety of life or the protection of property.”
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