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UCCtruths

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UCC challenges licenses of two Hartford television stations

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fresh off a victory by getting a record fine assessed against Univision for failing to provide adequate educational programming for children, the United Church of Christ is challenging the license renewals of two Hartford, Connecticut television stations. From Broadcasting & Cable:
The United Church of Christ has challenged the license renewals of two Tribune stations, WTIC-TV and WTXX, both Hartford, Conn.

Tribune, which has been shopping its stations, owns the Hartford Current newspaper and has been operating the stations for six and seven years, respectively, under waivers of the FCC's newspaper/broadcast crossownerhip rule, which bans common ownership of TV stations and newspapers (though a host of such combos were grandfathered when the ban was initially adopted).

A court tried to force Tribune to sell WTXX, but the FCC essentially said it wouldn't force the sale and a federal appeals court backed the commission up.
The string of license renewal challenges coincides with the UCC's increasing hostility towards media outlets that have refused to run UCC advertising, reported the UCC unfavorably or not covered the UCC at all.

Two years ago, the UCC challenged the license renewals of two southern Florida television stations owned by NBC and CBS after the networks rejected the UCC's television ad because of how the ad disparaged other churches. Although neither of the Miami stations ever rejected the ad, the UCC still pursued the unsuccessful challenge of their license renewals. The UCC also complained last year that NBC's "Meet the Press" didn't include a UCC leader on a four person panel during a discussion about Easter.

Univision (perhaps not-so-ironically) also rejected the UCC advertisement.

The Hartford Courant, which is owned by the same company (Tribune) that owns the television stations whose licenses are now being challenged, wrote unfavorably last July about the UCC's support of a union boycott of the Connecticut Convention Center. The boycott, as the article pointed out, embarrassingly didn't have the support of the workers at the convention center.
posted by UCCtruths, Thursday, March 01, 2007

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