Could News Corp lose right to broadcast in the US
Wed Jul 20 20:04:14 EDT 2011
I'm not sure Sid Schweiger is quite right on the notion of the FCC
convening a hearing to revoke a license of someone convicted of a crime.
I know of no case in which the FCC has summarily convened a "revocation"
hearing for a commercial broadcast licensee on its own motion. Generally,
there have been competing applications or petitions to deny renewal which
have led to proceedings.
The WLBT case saw a petition to deny from the United Church of Christ, the
WHDH case was a license renewal that was designated for hearing following
which a competing applicant was awarded a license; in the consolidated RKO
General cases, a competing application was filed against KHJ-TV on the
ground of illegal reciprocal trade agreements. That contest inspired similar
applications in other markets, and the renewal was designated for
comparative hearing. As the hearing process progressed, the issue of
corporate corruption and lack of candor were as raised concerning General
Tire and Rubber Company's propensity for slush funds, bribing foreign
potentates and the like, and, more importantly, General Tire's failure to
confess to its sins ("lack of candor" in the FCC's words).. in the WFXL
case, the commission did order a show cause hearing, but acted in the
context of an applicaton for assignment of a television license and several
low power licenses. In none of these cases was a license "revoked," and in
none of these cases did the FCC act on its own.
I admit I do not know how tthe question of the fitness of Red Lion to
operate WGCB came before the commission except to note that it involved a
refusal to obey an FCC rule despite an order to do so, which is
distinguished from the fitness issue.
Murdoch's biggest fear must be a shareholder suit, since he has merrily sold
stock to the public, but keeps two classes of stock through which he
controls a company despite owning less than 1 percent of the shares.
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