DMA 8 & 27

Fox Says It Is Fit To Be An FCC Licensee

Fox Television Stations wants the FCC to toss a petition to deny license renewals for its Washington, DC, and Baltimore stations, based on phone hacking allegations in the UK. The broadcaster claims the petition by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) falls well short of what the FCC requires to challenge license renewals.

News Corporation’s Fox Television Stations has told the FCC that a petition to strip the company of its licenses for WTTG and WDCA Washington, DC, and WUTB Baltimore is fatally flawed. The company wants the commission to toss out the petition from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) and grant the license renewals.

The response from Fox claims that the CREW petition is nothing more than a compilation of newspaper articles and documents compiled by authorities in the UK relating to the phone hacking investigation of News Corp. newspapers, which is ongoing.  Lacking, Fox says, is any affidavit alleging facts about which CREW or any of its members has any personal knowledge.

“None of these materials forms an adequate basis for a petition to deny,” Fox says of the materials submitted by CREW.

“The Petition does not contain allegations that any of the Stations has failed to serve the public interest – indeed it makes no reference whatsoever to the Stations’ performances – nor does the Petitioner claim that Fox or any of the Stations has violated a single FCC rule or regulation,” the filing states.

Fox insists that it “does not mean to diminish the gravity” of the UK allegations, but notes that no entity owned by News Corp. has yet been found guilty of engaging in any misconduct. And it insists that the allegations against the UK newspapers would not meet the legal standard for the FCC to hold a different subsidiary of News Corp., Fox Television Stations, responsible for any wrongdoing.

 The filing also proudly noted that the British broadcast regulator, Ofcom, just this month found British Sky Broadcasting Ltd., 40% owned by News Corp., as being “fit and proper” to be a UK broadcast licensee.


Fox Television Stations urged the FCC to dismiss the CREW petition and grant the license renewals for all three stations. WTTG is the company’s Fox outlet in DC, while WDCA and WUTB are MNT.

Comments (6)

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Angie McClimon says:

September 24, 2012 at 3:37 pm

First: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics is “CRE”. I’m baffled where the mysterious “W” comes from.
Second: I am not defending Fox because I’m convinced their journalistic style lacks journalism but media is operated differently in the UK vs. US. Unless Fox’s tabloid style of news reporting caused serious harm, their licenses aren’t going anywhere because of their bonehead move in the UK.

    Mike Henry says:

    September 24, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    It should read Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, that’s why it looks out of place, the article left out the last part of the group’s name.

    Angie McClimon says:

    September 24, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    It isn’t the first time I’ve seen it that way.

Jay Miller says:

September 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Let me get this straight… James Murdoch who brought the Newspaper in London to it’s knees and it is now closed, through bribery and lies and vouyerism I believe, has been appointed by his dadsy Rupert to eventually take over the Television operations in this country..and they say they are fit to run TV stations and a network in this country??Ok ..and I am the King of Spain!

    Robert Crookham says:

    September 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Exactly right. The Commission has ample precedent under the RKO General decision to deny renewal of the Fox stations. In the RKO case, the stations had nothing to do with the parent company’s transgressions, but the FCC still decided that the company was unfit to be a licensee. Same thing here.

Ashley Messina says:

September 29, 2012 at 9:42 am

Fox could well be the next RKO General…

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