Uncle Charlie's not amused

Joseph Pappalardo joepappalardo2001@yahoo.com
Thu Feb 5 01:32:03 EST 2004

> What could possibly be a smaller offense than giving people a glimpse of a
bare breast?

Even without a felony conviction, a corporate entity can lose its license
because of character questions. In a prolonged case, the FCC decided not to
renew the licenses of 14 of the TV and radio stations owned by RKO General,
a subsidiary of General Tire (now GenCorp). "The FCC decision was not based
on the quality of broadcast service...but on the question of RKO's corporate
integrity," Fortune noted (4/21/80). "General Tire was maintaining slush
funds for such uses as improper overseas payments and questionable campaign
contributions," Time later reported (8/24/87), and "allegedly filed false
and misleading financial statements." Of particular concern was RKO's lack
of candor in reporting these wrongdoings to the FCC.
RKO was stripped of one station (Boston's WNAC-TV) without compensation, and
was forced to sell other stations for less than full market value, resulting
in major financial losses.

None of which had anything to do with how they operated their broadcast
stations.  The stations themselves did no wrong.

As far as the actions of the parent company...I don't think they were ever
found guilty of those things or found to have actually broken any laws.
Just a "question" of their "integrity" and "candor".

What do you suppose they lost in dollars, when they lost the license?

If my memory serves me correctly, didn't channel 5 get sold shortly after
that for 400 Mill?
(Channel 5, of course was a much better property.)

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