The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the transfer of control of Univision Communications from its current shareholders to Broadcasting Media Partners, Inc. The FCC and Univision have also entered into a $24 million Consent Decree to resolve pending license renewal applications where petitioners allege that certain Univision stations failed to comply with the children’s programming requirements set forth in the Children’s Television Act of 1990 and Section 73.671 of the Commission’s rules.
In pending license renewal proceedings for Station WQHS-TV, Cleveland, OH, and Station KDTV, San Francisco, CA, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, Inc. (“UCC”) and the National Hispanic Media Coalition (“NHMC”) argue that, by relying on the Spanish-language telenovelas Complices Al Rescate, Vivan Los Ninos, and Amy, La Nina De La Mochila Azul, certain Univision stations failed to provide sufficient programming specifically designed to serve the educational and informational needs of children (core programming) throughout significant periods during their most recent license terms. In 1996, the Commission established specific criteria for evaluating whether a program qualifies as “core programming,” and a processing guideline of three hours of core programming a week. Univision owns and controls 24 broadcast television stations, including WQHS-TV and KDTV(TV), that aired the Spanish-language telenovelas cited by UCC and NHMC.
Not only have the FCC and Univision negotiated the terms of a Consent Decree that resolves the children’s programming issues raised in both proceedings, but Univision has further agreed to a detailed plan that will ensure future compliance with the Children’s Television Act and Section 73.617 of the Commission’s rules.
The item and attached Consent Decree will be available online at www.fcc.gov.
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