The FCC has granted the license renewals of Raycom’s KHNL and KGMB, both Honolulu, and HITV’s KFVE Honolulu, denying a license challenge by Media Council Hawai’i and putting a final nail in the group’s long-standing complaint that Raycom and KITV had run afoul of local ownership rules.
Thursday morning, the FCC started to email notices to numerous radio stations throughout the country, notifying them that there are issues with their online public inspection files. Clearly, this is a warning to stations that the FCC is watching their public files, and that compliance problems will bring issues, and possibly fines, if the files are not complete by license renewal time.
The group says that in light of the commission raising questions over the group owner’s fitness to be a licensee following the failed Tribune merger, the FCC needs to “resolve the serious charges it leveled against Sinclair as soon as possible.”
NBC Chairman of Broadcasting and Sports Mark Lazarus said the network isn’t worried about its broadcast licenses facing revocation following President Trump’s threatening tweets. “We feel very confident … that the FCC will support the First Amendment,” he said.
You shouldn’t get too excited about about President Trump’s tweeted threats against NBC’s broadcast licenses. He can weaponize the FCC to punish stations and networks for his bad press, but not by using license renewal challenges. He could pressure or cajole FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to act as his enforcer, but I don’t see that happening.
The FCC has renewed the licenses of three TV stations held by large broadcast groups, rejecting petitions to deny filed by a citizen’s organization arguing that the children’s educational and informational programming run by these stations was not sufficiently educational or informational to meet FCC requirements. The licensees were able to present evidence that these programs did meet the requirements. However, the FCC warned stations to be careful in their assessments of the educational nature of children’s programs.
Three Native Americans have filed a petition with the FCC to protest the license renewal of Fox-owned KTTV Los Angeles over the use of the word Redskins. KTTV broadcasts the NFL’s National Football Conference. The Washington Redskins play in the NFC Eastern Division.