Groups Petition FCC to Reverse Crossownership Decision

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The United Church of Christ and Rainbow/PUSH have petitioned the FCC to reverse its decision to grant a permanent  waiver of the newspaper/broadcast crossownership ban to News Corp. for its WNYW(TV) and extend a temporary waiver for WWOR(TV) New York. New Corp. also owns The New York Post and would have to sell either the paper or the stations without the waiver.

“These repeated and extended waivers by the FCC essentially allow some companies to operate above the law.” said Cheryl Leanza, managing director of UCC, “While in rare cases the FCC can make a justified exception to its rules, this wavier is inappropriate.”

The groups complain that the waiver was issued behind closed doors and challenge Fox's character as a licensee.

Media Access Project, on behalf of Free Press, has filed an appeal with the D.C. Appeals Court asking it to vacate the FCC decision .

Leanza told B&C that UCC would keep the court option on the table, depending on the FCC's response its petition and the court's to Free Press's appeal. But it had to appeal to the FCC first, while Free Press had already gone to the FCC and was free to take its beef to the court.

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