Renewals of BROADCAST LICENSES FOR
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
39 F.C.C.2d 1035
FEBRUARY 8, 1973
[*1035] Staff action of January 31, 1973 reviewing Broadcast
DISSENTING OPINION OF COMMISSIONER
NICHOLAS JOHNSON ON
On January 31, 1973, the Commission
noted actions to be taken by the staff under delegated authority in connection
with disposition of February 1, 1973, broadcast renewal applications for
DISSENTING OPINION OF COMMISSIONER NICHOLAS JOHNSON
Bent upon renewing as many broadcast station licenses as fast as is humanly possible, the Federal Communications Commission once again ignores both the public interest and the dictates of its own rules.
First, the majority -- as it does each month -- refuses to find fault with the license renewal applications of those stations (this time in the Florida-Puerto Rico-Virgin Islands renewal group) which have failed to broadcast the barest minimum of informational programming: 5% news, 1% public affairs, and 5% "other" non-entertainment programming.
Eleven of the 234 standard broadcast stations n1 and 9 of the 33 TV stations n2 in this group propose to broadcast less than 5% news weekly. Seven standard broadcast stations propose less than 1% public affairs, n3 and 27 standard broadcast stations n4 and 1 TV station n5 will [*1036] devote less than 5% of their time to other entertainment programming
This is preposterous. See, e.g., my dissenting statement in Washington Renewals 1972, FCC 2d (1972).
n1 WAYR, Orange Park, Fla.; WCMQ, Miami, Fla.; WIVV, Vieques, P.R.; WKFE, Yauco, P.R.; WMBM, Miami, Fla.; WNIK, Arecibo, P.R.; WOCN, Miami, Fla.; WPFE, Pensacola, Fla.; WRSG, San German, P.R.; WWBC, Cocoa, Fla.; and WWSD, Monticello, Fla.
n2 WAPA, San Juan, P.R.; WKBM, Caguas, P.R.; WKID, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; WOLE, Aquadilla, P.R.; WORA, Mayaguez, P.R.; WRIK, Ponce, P.R.; WSUR, Ponce, P.R.; WTOG, St. Petersburg, Fla.; and WXLT, Sarasota, Fla.
n3 WABA, Aquadilla, P.R.; WCID, Juncos, P.R.; WKIZ, Key West, Fla.; WKXY, Sarasota, Fla.; WOKB, Winter Garden, Fla.; WPRA, Mayaguez, P.R.; and WVJP, Caguas, P.R.
n4 WCAI, Ft. Myers, Fla.; WIRK, West Palm Beach, Fla.; WKFE, Yauco, P.R.; WKTZ, Arlington, Fla.; WLEY, Cayey, P.R.; WVJP, Caguas, P.R.; WWBA, St. Petersburg, Fla.; WFUN, South Miami, Fla.; WGGG, Gainesyille, Fla.; WKXY, Sarasota, Fla.; WLUZ, Bayamon, P.R.; WNVY, Pensacola, Fla.; WQPD, Lakeland, Fla.; WYOU, Tampa, Fla.; WAPA, San Juan, P.R., WBJW, Winer Park, Fla.; WBMJ, San Juan, P.R.; WJCM, Sebring, Fla.; WJNO, West Palm Beach, Fla.; WKKO, Cocoa, Fla.; WMBR, Jacksonville, Fla.; WMFJ, Daytona Beach, Fla.; WPUL, Bartow, Fla.; WTRR, Sanford, Fla.; WVOJ, Jacksonville, Fla.; and WVOZ, Carolina, P.R.
Equally troublesome is the majority's refusal to send letters of inquiry to those stations in this renewal group whose employment practices raise serious questions under our equal employment opportunity regulations. The majority approves the Broadcast Bureau's decision not to send such letters to a substantial percentage of those stations which either do not employ minority group members or women or which have shown a decline in the number of such persons employed over the past year. Yet the majority has no intelligent way of knowing -- indeed, it would prefer not to know -- whether the Bureau's selection process makes any sense.
I suppose, however, that such capriciousness had no truly harmful effect if only because, once the stations which have been queried finally answer our letters of inquiry, the majority is just going to renew their licenses anyhow. See, e.g., Pennsylvania-Delaware Broadcasting Stations, 38 F.C.C. 2d 158 (1972).