Tomorrow afternoon, Nov. 28, there is going to be an unprecedented Federal Communications Commission hearing in New Jersey. Concerned citizens and public interest groups have petitioned the FCC to deny WWOR-TV 9’s broadcast license, asserting that the station hasn’t lived up to its commitment to serve New Jersey.
It’s one of the first public hearings the FCC has held to investigate a license renewal of a TV station in decades. As such, this could be a precedent-setting event, empowering other communities to hold hearings looking into their local TV and radio stations’ public service. The public owns the airwaves that radio and TV stations use to broadcast. However, Big Media companies have been permitted to use those airwaves for free — making millions of dollars doing so — under the obligation that they serve local communities.
| Raise Your Voice in NewarkThe FCC Wants to Hear From You
Before 1982 there were no VHF TV stations located in New Jersey. The FCC denied the renewal of WWOR’s license in the early 1980s because its owner, General Tire and Rubber Co., engaged in a range of corporate misconduct. When a court required the FCC to reconsider its decision, WWOR’s owner convinced Congress to pass a law that required the FCC to automatically renew WWOR-TV 9’s license if the license holder will move to New Jersey and “operate in New Jersey for the benefit of the people in our State.”
However, all indications suggest that WWOR has not served the people of New Jersey – they even advertise themselves as “My9 New York.”
On Nov. 28 at 4 p.m. in the Paul Robeson Campus Center on the Newark Campus of Rutgers University, New Jersey citizens will have the rare opportunity to make their voices heard about how WWOR is serving New Jersey.
To find out more about the hearing, visit: www.stopbigmedia.com/=newark or www.voicenj.com. Continue reading