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Re: WEVD (was WFAN New York)

On Tue, 5 Aug 1997, Rob Landry wrote:

> The question is, if I make my living by selling blocks of time on a radio
> station, can I legally refuse to do business with someone if I don't like
> his religion? Remember, radio stations are *publicly* licensed; their
> frequencies belong to you and me, not to their licensees.  Licensees are
> only trustees and are supposed to operate in the public "interest,
> convenience and necessity."

Yeah, sure!

What if someone came to the station and wanted to buy time to run
explicitly anti-semitic programming?  The station licensee is
responsible for what it broadcasts, and it has a great deal of
leeway, especially nowadays, in determining what programming is in
the public interest, convenience, and necessity.

There have been some cases where the Globe has been upheld in its right
not to run ads.  In one case, I think it was a Ralph Nader ad that it
refused, and the court said it had the right to do so.  Especially in
today's climate, I am convinced that the courts would defer to the station
owner, except in the most extreme case.

Nor would this be considered discrimination.  There was a case several
years ago in which the courts upheld the right of the Jewish Community
Center not to hire someone who was qualified for a job but was not Jewish.

  A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                                          617.367.0468
  15 Court Square                                       lawyer@world.std.com
  Boston, MA 02108-2503                        http://world.std.com/~lawyer/