Petition Pushes FCC On Raycom Decision

Broadcaster says petitioners have their facts, law wrong.

Free Press has filed petition at the FCC from 150-plus Hawaians asking it to act on a complaint against Raycom for its operation of three Honolulu TV stations under a shared services agreement. Free Press pointed out Tuesday that Media Council Hawaii had filed the complaint back in October 2009 and no action had yet been taken.

Media Council Hawaii asked the FCC to block Raycom and MCG Capital's shared service agreement, in which Raycom, which owns NBC affiliate KHNL and MyNetworkTV affiliate KFVE also operates CBS affiliate KGMB, owned by MCG.

In its filing, the group asked the FCC to enjoin the two companies from executing the agreement, saying it would do "imminent" harm to viewers "through its negative impact on diversity and competition." They claimed that Raycom receives 90% of the cash flow from the MCG Capital station," and as a result, "for all intents and purposes Rycom controls production and sales and makes other key business decisions for all three stations."

The petition called on the FCC to "take swift action on the complaint and affirm that this deal is in violation of FCC rules."

"Media Council is just plain wrong on the facts and the law," EVP and COO Wayne Daugherty told B&C/Multi. "Raycom does not control KFVE, and neither does it keep 90% of the station's cash flow. As our lawyers have told the FCC, this agreement complies with every FCC precedent. We look forward to the FCC denying Media Council's complaint."