FCC Publishes Denial of News Corp. Waiver Challenge


Author: John Eggerton

Late Friday, the Federal Communications Commission released on order denying a challenge to New Corp's ownership of WNYW-TV (NY) and WWOR-TV (Secaucus, NJ) and the New York Post. The challenge had been lodged by the United Church of Christ and Rainbow/PUSH but, because the organizations did not file a petition to deny those grants in 2006, the FCC concluded that they lacked standing to challenge that on reconsideration and denied the petition. Apparently, the FCC made the ruling on January 15, 2008 and took 16 months to share the decision with the public. As part of the order released Friday, Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein put their two dissents in, dissents that Adelstein pointed out were "inexplicably" not included by the (Kevin Martin-controlled) commission in the October 2006 order. Chairman Copps called the 2006 decision woefully deficient, saying there had been no "serious" public interest analysis of the waivers before they were renewed. He added an update for the 2008 decision, renewing his dissent and pointing out that in the interim News Corp. had bought the Wall Street Journal, operating two of New York's most popular TV stations and two of its most popular newspapers.

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