Newport Television received a go ahead from the FCC on Nov. 13 to acquire 35 television licenses from Clear Channel Communications subject to certain conditions to bring the deal into compliance with the commission’s local television ownership rule.
The commission, which released the order on Nov. 29, gave Newport six months to comply with its local ownership rule in nine Californian markets affected by the deal, including: Bakersfield, CA; San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA; Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-San Luis Obispo, CA; Salt Lake City, UT; Fresno-Visalia, CA; San Antonio, TX; and Monterey-Salinas, CA.
In approving the license assignment, the commission also waived its main studio rule to allow the studio of KSAS-TV in Wichita, KS, to serve as the main studio for KAAS-TV in Salina, KS, and KOCW-TV in Hoisington, KS. In granting the waiver, the commission agreed with Newport that given the size of the communities both stations serve it would be economically unfeasible to require them to comply with the rule requiring them to have their main studio locally.
The commission also denied a petition filed by Buckley Broadcasting of Monterey that sought reconsideration of a 2002 decision from the commission to grant an application transferring control of Ackerley Group to Clear Channel.
Commissioner Michael Copps dissented from the commission approval. Noting that the license assignment involves private equity, Copps raised concern that regulators don’t have a clear view of the management and control of various parts of the conglomerate. How, amid such murky shadows, does a regulator protect the public interest,” he asked in his dissent.
For more information, visit: www.fcc.gov.
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