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Re: WEVD (was WFAN New York)

In a message dated 97-08-06 02:01:57 EDT, you write:

<< > On Mon, 4 Aug 1997, Dan Strassberg wrote:
 > > Although the programming might indeed offend WEVD's audience, I
 don't think
 > > the station could go beyond reasoning with the origanization in its
 > > to get them not to run the programs on WEVD. If time were available
 and the
 > > station simply refused to accept the programs, I believe that the
 > > would be in for a court battle and, very likely, would lose its
 The A. Joseph Ross Wrote:
 > Quite the contrary.  I think the courts would uphold the right of the
 > to refuse to run programs that don't fit its format. 
 I don't believe there is ANY precedent for a station LOSING it's
 liscence because it failed to sell air time to someone.  I believe our
 resident Counselor is correct.  A station CAN refuse airtime to someone
 that it deems would be offensive or inappropriate to it's audience.  
 >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."
 No, you cannot decide NOT to do business with someone because of *his*
 (You couldn't refuse the Legal Seafood spots with the reasoning that the
 Berkowitz family is Jewish)  But you *can* decide that a message is not
 appropriate for your stations audiance, image or business situation.  
 Additionally, in the case of a broadcasting station, the government DOES
 alknowledge that the Liscencee DOES have a perspective, viewpoint and
 message.  In the eyes of the law, he is likened to a publisher of a
 paper.  And I believe the courts have always upheld the rights of the
 individual broadcaster to determine what messages may be on his station
 and what may not.  (The exception being political.)  
 Stations have turned down spots about abortion (pro-life or pro-choice)
 because they did not think it's was the right venue for the specific
 message.  >>

I agree.  You make an important distinction between discriminting against the
content of a program, not the religion of the program producer.

Many local TV stations sell time on Sunday morning to religous broadcasters
and many cancelled Jim Bakker and other controversial ministries while
continuing to run Robert Schuller and other less controversials preachers.
 This is clearly a programming decision that a station can make.

Dan Billings
Bowdoinham, Maine