Because of the phone-hacking and bribery scandal plaguing News Corp’s British newspaper publishing subsidiary, a public interest group has filed a petition asking the Federal Communications Commission to deny broadcast license renewal to three Fox TV stations. Licenses of the three Fox Broadcasting Co. owned-and-operated stations are scheduled to expire in October. The stations are WTTG and WDCA in Washington, D.C., and WUTB in Baltimore. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed its petition today, and you can read it here. The group calls for a public hearing to determine whether Fox, a U.S. subsidiary of News Corp, should remain a licensee. The interest group in May petitioned the FCC to revoke all 27 of Fox’s broadcast licenses, but the FCC has not responded. The agency has given no indications that it has any intention of looking into whether News Corp.’s problems in Great Britain are relevant to its U.S. TV businesses. CREW’s argument is based partly on a clause in the Communications Act that licenses can be technically revoked over character issues involving station ownership. Most communications attorneys believe it’s extremely unlikely the FCC will revoke Fox’s U.S. licenses. It is extremely rare for a TV station to have its licence revoked.
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