News Corp. is asking the Federal Communications Commission to drop an order to divest the company’s second TV station in the New York market and let it keep the station permanently.
News Corp. acquired WWOR-TV Secaucus, N.J., when it bought 10 Chris-Craft stations in 2001. Because News Corp. also owns The New York Post, the FCC said the deal violated its ban on local TV/newspaper cross-ownership and gave the company until July 2003 to sell WWOR.
Since then, News Corp. has retained the station while a temporary waiver request is pending. A previous permanent waiver has allowed News Corp. to also own WNYW-TV, but the FCC decided letting News Corp. own two TVs in New York created too much media concentration.
News Corp. didn’t sweat the divestiture order at the time because the FCC planned to remove the cross-ownership ban. The FCC did vote to allow cross-ownership in larger markets in 2003, but federal judges threw out the relaxed rules and ordered an FCC rewrite.
In its Sept. 22 petition for a permanent waiver for WWOR, News Corp. argued that whatever limits the FCC sets, cross-ownership will be permitted in New York, the country’s largest market.