Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 1:36am
COURT VACATES FORCED WTXX SALE
[SOURCE: Broadcasting&Cable, AUTHOR: John Eggerton]
Hold on to your WB affiliate, partner. A US Court of Appeals has vacated a lower court ruling that could have forced Tribune to sell either its WTXX-TV Hartford or the Hartford Courant newspaper to come into compliance with the FCC's ban on cross-ownership of TV stations and local newspapers. The FCC essentially already nullified that court's order last April when it granted the Trib a waiver of the sale only weeks after a court had ruled it must sell. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled March 23, 2006, that the lower court had "acted prematurely in not allowing the FCC to decide Tribune's pending waiver request," even conceding the FCC's "inordinate delay" in ruling on it. Since 2001, Tribune has been under FCC orders to sell either WTXX or the Hartford Courant newspaper, which the company acquired as part of its purchase of Times-Mirror. Now, Tribune has permission to keep the station until 2007, when licenses for WTXX and another Hartford station owned by Tribune, WTIC, must be renewed.