Media company shares are soaring

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Shares in media companies took off in early trade on the ASX.

The federal government has foreshadowed changes to media regulation including the elimination of the “two out of three” rule, meaning one company would be able to own metropolitan newspapers, television and radio stations in any capital city.

The other change is dropping the rule that no-one can have more than 75% of the Australian audience.

Shares in free-to-air television companies, which have been struggling in a weak adverting market, took off. The federal government is cutting about $100 from TV licence fees.

The Ten network shares jumped 40% to $0.31, Nine 5.7% to $1.38, Southern Cross 6% to $1.43 and Seven West Media 4% to $0.77.

Fairfax Media, with private equity group TPG making a bid, was up 2.3% to $1.08.

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