FCC Dismisses WGN-TV License Challenge

The Federal Communications Commission dismissed an informal license challenge to WGN-TV Chicago. That came as a Republican majority of the commission Friday voted to grant temporary waivers to WGN-TV owner Tribune to clear the way for its sale of the company, including WGN-TV, to investor Sam Zell and Tribune employees.

A viewer had claimed that the station aired "skewed news, trashy entertainment, inadequate children’s programming and was overly commercial.”

The FCC dismissed the complaint, saying that it was not empowered to take action against "skewed news" even if that were the case, and that the complainant had not made a case for indecency, that he had failed to show how relying on Baby Looney Tunes and Sabrina failed to meet its core educational kids’ show obligations and, as for overly commercial, pointed out that except for kids’ programming, the FCC does not regulate the amount or type of commercial.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.