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FCC Renews WRAZ-TV License, Denies Nuisance Challenge

The Federal Communications Commission denied what was in effect a nuisance challenge to the renewal of the TV license of WRAZ-TV Raleigh, N.C.

It was an informal objection to the renewal of the Fox affiliate by an individual who had complained that the station was being false and deceptive because it has or may someday air "Fox News Network" (sic) programming and that the network, actually Fox News Channel, has a slogan that it has branded that programming with, "Fair and Balanced," when it is not fair and balanced.

It being an objection, informal or not, to a license renewal, WRAZ answered seriously, according to the FCC, saying: "WRAZ states that ‘[t]he station does not broadcast Fox News Network programming, except for very limited occasions, such as presidential addresses,’ and does not use the phrase ‘Fair and Balanced’ to brand the news which it produces.”

The FCC did not have to rule on the fairness and balance of the programming, however, saying that the complaint "does not cite specific programming aired by station WRAZ (TV) with regard to which the slogan’s use was allegedly deceptive, false and misleading. Because the allegations do not pertain to station WRAZ (TV), we conclude that the informal objection is insufficient to make out a prima facie case."