Alliance Won't Challenge Fla. Licenses

The Alliance for Better Campaigns is still sifting through data on TV stations’ coverage of the 2004 elections, and it hasn’t yet decided whether to challenge any licenses coming up for renewal, executive director Meredith MeGehee said.

As it stands now, stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, the Carolinas, Washington, D.C., are off the hook from an Alliance challenge because petitions to deny their renewals were due in the fall. Florida stations, too, won’t be challenged.

Petitions against Sunshine state stations are not due until the first week of January, but MeGehee said none were in the works.

The Alliance monitored the amount of time TV outlets devoted to covering local and national campaigns in their nightly newscasts, public affairs shows and special programs such as debates.

During the run-up to the election, MeGehee said the Alliance was holding out the option of challenging licenses as they come due across the country over the next three years.

The Alliance for Better Campaigns, a non-profit group aimed at fighting for campaign reform laws merges in February with the Campaign Legal Center, another non-profit group with a similar mission.