Uncle Charlie's not amused

SteveOrdinetz steveord@bit-net.com
Thu Feb 5 08:20:12 EST 2004

Joseph Pappalardo wrote:
>"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.

As to whether this constitutes grounds for forfeiting all broadcast 
licenses is debatable, but to me sounds worse than allowing a slightly 
risqué half-time show.

Some of these FCC regulations are woefully out of date.  Why is broadcast 
television (or radio) treated differently than similar cable or satellite 
services?  Maybe once upon a time when cable was little more than a 
community antenna system this may have made sense, but those days are 
decades behind us.

>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".

Sounds like a witch hunt to me.

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