Local Media Activists Respond to FCC's Chicago TV License Challenge Denial

Posted by Mitchell - July 15, 2008 (entry 605)

Mitchell Szczepanczyk - mitchell@szcz.org Scott Sanders - themediastructurefailed@yahoo.com

Chicago Media Action
July 14, 2008

Chicago Media Action (CMA) is once again disappointed that the Federal Communication Commission rejected for a second time CMA's petition to deny the broadcast license renewals of nine Chicago-area TV stations.

In response to this latest rejection, Chicago Media Action organizer Mitchell Szczepanczyk stated: "The FCC has again ignored our petition's scope: the failure of the broadcasters in meeting their responsibilities concerning electoral democracy. The FCC has now twice rejected the petition by avoiding this paramount issue we raise. It seems that the FCC is guided only by a malleable sense of 'bad faith' and precious little else besides bricks of lobbyist and industry cash. In light of this latest FCC response, I foresee future action from CMA on this matter."

Chicago Media Action's Scott Sanders commented: "No surprise here. The FCC's station license renewal process is often called a 'postcard renewal'. In essence, the FCC sends the station a postcard once every eight years, and the station puts a check in the 'yes' box where it asks 'Do you want to use an extremely valuable publicly owned resource without any responsibility to the public interest or any financial payback for the privilege?' We believe that if the American people were sent a postcard asking whether the FCC as it currently is structured -- with its corrupt revolving employment door to the media industry and its key role in the destruction of our democracy -- asking whether the FCC itself should be permitted to continue 'as is', we believe the public's check marks would indicate a nearly-unanimous 'No.'"

The CMA petition was originally filed in 2005 with the legal assistance of the Media Access Project, a D.C.-based public interest law firm, and initially rejected by the FCC in 2007. A similar petition by the Milwaukee Public Interest Media Coalition was also filed and rejected in tandem with CMA's.


Read a notice on the denial at the Benton Foundation:

Text of July 11 2008 FCC notice:

Center for Media and Public Affairs (CMPA) "2004 Campaign News Study in Chicago, Milwaukee, and Portland Markets"

Coverage at Ars Technica:

2005 petition to deny:

Milwaukee Public Interest Media Coalition (MPIMC):

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