renewing WWOR-TV’s license get another 30 days to file their formal objections.
The Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday granted a request by the
United Church of Christ, Rainbow/PUSH, Free Press and Voices for New Jersey for
a 30-day extension on filing petitions for review of the renewal, which the FCC
approved Aug. 8. Petitions were initially due Sept. 8 and are now due Oct. 8.
WWOR’s license renewal has been pending since 2007 over assertions leveled by
media watchdogs that it does not fulfill its license obligations. WWOR is a
Fox-owned MyNetwork affiliate licensed to Secaucus, N.J. Fox also owns WNYW-TV
in New York, while parent corporation News Corp. owns the New York Post.
Fox had to obtain waiver of the newspaper/TV station
cross-ownership prohibition rule to continue operating all three. The waiver
was extended temporarily by the FCC’s Media Bureau Aug. 8, when license renewal
“After thorough review of the record and the station’s issues/programs lists,
we find that from 1999 through the quarter ending March 31, 2014, WWOR-TV met
its special obligations to serve Northern New Jersey,” the Aug. 8 Order states.
“We also grant Fox a temporary waiver of our newspaper/broadcast
cross-ownership rule to permit the joint ownership of WNYW/WWOR-TV and the Post
in the New York market pending the outcome of the commission’s decision in its
WWOR was originally licensed to New York but the license was moved to New
Jersey by a law passed in the 1980s that required each state to have at least
one VHF TV station. Petitioners claimed its news and public affairs programming
wasn’t focused on New Jersey. Rainbow/PUSH, UCC, et al, filed a Motion with the
commission Aug. 12, saying they each had too much in the queue to properly
coordinate a review application by Sept. 8.
“On top of the various commission proceedings coinciding with the Application
for Review deadline, counsel for movants had previously scheduled vacations in
August. As a result, counsel do not have the resources available to meet an
early September deadline,” it said.
Petitions for Review are now due Oct. 8, with oppositions due Oct. 23, and
replies, Nov. 3.