Fact or Opinion - Are Chicago TV License Challenges Looney?

Posted by Scott - December 26, 2006 (entry 511)

Looney Tunes cartoon police Here is the response by Third Coast Press to the FCC's denial of the group’s petition to deny the license renewals of all Chicago area tv broadcasters. This latest response was written by Third Coast Press (and CMA) members Scott Sanders and Mitchell Szczepanczyk. In addition to the web sites of fine media reform groups such as Free Press, the Benton Foundation and others who have been following this story, here are the articles we’ve turned up so far. We like the first one in the list the best, but that's our local bias: Robert Feder at the Chicago Sun-Times; Broadcasting & Cable; Broadcast Engineering; and TV Week . Alas dear readers, neither high nor low nor over hill or even dale have we yet found any tv station in Chicago that aired any coverage of Third Coast's valiant quest for broadcaster accountability. This proves our point with the facts. And then some. Again. (An earlier response from TCP can be found here). “Utah's Forum for Radio” picked up on the denial this way:

“This is the funniest thing to come down the FCC pike in a while. It's regarding a petition from some looney group "Third Coast Press" to deny the license renewals for 18 TV stations in the Chicago area… Basically they're saying 'we don't like the way you run your station, so you shouldn't be allowed to anymore'.”

Woah! What a concept! Actual accountability for the public in trade for the use of its airwaves!!! It would be nice to see a lot more organized complaints like TCP's directed at station licensees. In that vein, we anxiously await the as-yet-to-be concocted FCC ruling on that other set of “looney” Chicago tv station license challenges. This is the one that centers on the poverty of local election coverage aired by a heaping pile of Chicago tv stations that was filed on CMA’s behalf by the Media Access Project at about the same time the Third Coast Press made its filing. And those caissons keep rolling along.

Note: a clarification to a recent CMA blog entry - there is almost no chance of snagging one of the noncommercial radio frequencies that will become available in 2007 if you are within 30 miles of any of the largest 100 cities in the U.S.

Have a happy new year everybody! Hope to see you at the national media reform conference in Memphis on the second weekend in January (more info here).

Posted by Scott Sanders, Chicago Media Action
Visit “About Scott Sanders - Who is this guy?” Click here. Feedback? Information? Email me - scott(at)chicagomediaaction.org or themediastructurefailed(at)yahoo.com

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