UCC files petition challenging News Corp. licenses in NYC - Associate Conference Minister "harmed" by FCC waivers
Sunday, May 13, 2007
"Fox's common ownership of The New York Post, WNYW-TV and WWOR-TV harms me by sharply reducing the number of independent voices available to me," wrote the Rev. Sherry M. Taylor, from UCC's Central Atlantic Conference in New Jersey, in the petition. "Unless the licenses are denied, my right to access diverse programming will continue to be harmed."Apparently, the hundreds of television channels and 5 daily newspapers available to Associate Conference Minister Sherry Mason Taylor just doesn't cut it. While petitions to deny license renewals rarely succeed, Taylor's pastoral melodrama should cause some chuckles and eye rolls for FCC staffers.
News Corp. has a waiver of the broadcast/newspaper crossownership rule to own both the stations and The New York Post. UCC and Rainbow are asking the FCC to rescind the waiver, which would make the stations automatically in violation of the crossownership ban.
The FCC approved the transfer of the News Corp. television licenses last year and granted a permanent waiver of the newspaper/broadcast crossownership ban. From Lasar's Letter on the FCC:
The FCC's Memorandum Opinion and Order contends that the competitive nature of the Greater New York newspaper market and economic necessity justify the waivers. The Post reaches about 7.3 percent of the region's households in what the FCC describes as a competitive market dominated by five newspapers, including The New York Daily News and The New York Times.Of all the things wrong in the world - things that cause real harm - you would think we would make better use of denominational resources.
"The record indicates that the conditions justifying the original waiver, the financial vulnerability of The New York Post and the unique diversity of the New York market, still exist," concludes the Order. The ruling extends a two year waiver to WWOR and The Post.