City Government Objects to Station’s License Renewal

Wilmington officials unhappy with WHYY-TV
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WILMINGTON, DE.:The city government of Wilmington is opposing the renewal of a local TV station’s license, reports indicate. The City filed an objection with the FCC this week aimed at WHYY-TV, a PBS member station in Philadelphia. City officials in Wilmington say the station doesn’t provide enough service to the community, and is instead focused on Philly.

“Programming focused on Wilmington events has already been curtailed,” Wilmington City Council President Norman Griffiths told DelewareOnline. Griffiths said the station was no longer based in his city, but claimed that it was the base of operations.

WHYY is said to be receiving $500,000 from the State of Delaware for 2009, down from $600,000 last year. The station will get $1.1 million from Pennsylvania this year. Government funding accounts for about 13 percent of the station’s budget, DelewareOnline said.

WHYY’s news director countered the claims of city officials. Chris Satullo said one Wilmington City Councilman had been on the station’s news show five times, and the mayor had been on “multiple times as well.” He said their position was “more than a little hard to understand.”