Seeing Red Over Green Card TV

Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, said he plans to watch KRCA channel 62 Los Angeles and its reality program, Gana la Verde, very closely to see if it is "crossing the lines." If so, Nogales said, he'll complain to the Federal Communications Commission about the station and its owner, Lenard Liberman.

With indecency remaining a prime focus of the commission, "if there was ever a good time to do something like this, it is right now," Nogales says. "They are getting very wealthy doing this kind of programming for a community that can ill afford to be exploited in this fashion." In Gana La Verde, illegal immigrants take part in Fear Factor-like contests, competing to win an immigration attorney's service for a year in the hopes of getting a green card.

The show airs in Los Angeles and also on Liberman's three other stations in San Diego, Houston and Dallas. On Thursday, six legal and immigration advocacy groups and three members of Congress took issue with the program, calling it exploitation. Liberman was unavailable for comment.

This isn't the first time Nogales has tangled with Liberman, filing indecency complaints against him and his broadcasting company in 1998 for doing what Nogales calls "pornographic radio." Liberman Broadcasting owns 15 Spanish-language radio stations in addition to his four Spanish-language TV stations.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.