FCC reverses TV license revocation

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Reading Broadcasting Thursday convinced the Federal Communications Commission
to reverse an agency judge's decision to strip the company of its license for
WTVE(TV) Reading, Pa.

A seven-year dispute is the last outstanding licenses renewal pending under
an old FCC policy that allowed challengers to compete for permits that are
expiring.

Reading was ultimately allowed to keep the license because Reading management
lived in the station's market and had more broadcast experience.

The four commissioners rejected Administrative Judge Richard Sippel's
findings that Reading's president made misleading statements to the FCC and was
unqualified to hold a license.

The commissioners did uphold Sippel's decision to allow the comparative
process to go forward on grounds that the home shopping channel offered
"minimal" non-entertainment programming to serve community needs.

Reading had argued that the challenger, Adams Communications, had no
intention of operating the stations and was merely trying to pressure financial
settlements out of home shopping channels.

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