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.
The Media Bureau says that the 2009 deal that resulted in Raycom running three stations in Honolulu, including the NBC and CBS affiliates, did not violate the law or commission precedent as a local opposition group had contended. However, the bureau is concerned about such arrangements and said it would look into them in the context of its ongoing review of the broadcast ownership rules. It also fined MCG Capital, Raycom’s partner in the deal, $10,000 for violating public file rules.
The LMA/option between Raycom and a subsidiary of MCG Capital that has created a three-TV station cluster in Honolulu is under formal assault by Media Council Hawaii. Rules of engagement just released by the FCC show that many of the pertinent facts will be kept under wraps.
Free Press filed a petition at the FCC from 150-plus Hawaiians asking it to act on a complaint against Raycom for its operation of three Honolulu TV stations under a shared services agreement. Free Press pointed out Tuesday that Media Council Hawaii had filed the complaint in October 2009 and no action has yet been taken.