FCC is asked to revoke the licenses of two D.C. stations as new public service campaign heats up

September 6, 2004

Two television watchdog groups, citing a lack of required educational programs for children at two Washington, D.C. stations, are trying to get the outlets’ licenses revoked.

The Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ and the Center for Digital Democracy filed a petition last asking the FCC not to renew licenses for WDCA-TV (channel 20) and WPXW-TV (channel 66).

The groups argue that the two stations have not complied with the FCC’s 1996 guidelines regarding the Children’s Television Act, which require stations to air at least three hours of educational programming for children per week. The act has never before been cited in a petition to revoke a license and represents a new strategy for broadcast critics.

The stations “are clearly in violation of the rules and are thumbing their noses at parents, educators and children in this market,” Jeff Chester, director of the Center for Digital Democracy, told the Washington Post.

The newspaper reported that the stations presented three programs to the FCC as meeting the requirements: WDCA’s animated, action-oriented sci-fi shows “Ace Lightning” and “Stargate Infinity,” and WPXW’s reality show “Miracle Pets,” which profiles extraordinary animals. The groups assert that these shows do not meet FCC guidelines.

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