IN RE RENEWALS OF BROADCAST LICENSES FOR INDIANA, KENTUCKY, AND TENNESSEE, 1973
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
42 F.C.C.2d 900
SEPTEMBER 4, 1973
The Commission by Commissioners Burch (Chairman), Robert E. Lee, H. Rex Lee, Reid, Wiley and Hooks with Commissioner Johnson dissenting and issuing a statement approved staff action reviewing Broadcast Licenses for Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee for 1973.
DISSENTING OPINION OF COMMISSIONER NICHOLAS JOHNSON ON INDIANA, KENTUCKY, AND TENNESSEE RENEWALS
On July 26, 1973, the Commission noted actions to be taken by the staff under delegated authority in connection with disposition of August 1, 1973 broadcast renewal applications for Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Commissioner Johnson dissented and has now issued the attached statement.
INDIANA, KENTUCKY, AND TENNESSEE RENEWALS 1973
Today, the Commission notes the staff report on the disposition of 681 Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee broadcast licenses due for renewal August 1, 1973. Of these applications, 374 are granted by the staff and here approved by the Commission. The licenses of the remaining stations will be renewed at staff level after their submission of further information. The majority thus approves the behavior of yet another batch of stations, some good and some bad, without its ever enunciating any criteria by which to judge whether the licensees' performance serves the public interest. Once again, I dissent.
Two AM stations n1 and six TV stations n2 propose less than 5% news. One TV station n3 and twenty-one AM stations n4 propose less than 1% public affairs, including one station, WCDS, Glasgow, Ky., which proposed no public affairs programming at all. Twenty-three AM stations n5 proposed less than 5% public affairs and non-entertainment programming.
n1 WKXV, Knoxville, Tenn.; KWAM, Memphis, Tenn.
n2 WDBR-TV, Louisville, Ky.; WDXR-TV, Paducah, Ky.: WHMB-TV. Indianapolis, Ind.; WKPT-TV, Kingsport. Tenn.; WRIP-TV, Chattanooga, Tenn.; WXIX-TV, Newport, Ky.
n3 WDXR-TV, Paducah, Ky.
n4 WAWK, Kendalville. Ind.; WCDT, Winchester, Tenn.; WEMB, Erwin, Tenn.; WENR, Englewood, Tenn.; WETB, Johnson City, Tenn.; WGOH, Grayson, Ky.; WHIT, Danville, Ky.; WIVK, Knoxville, Tenn.; WJCD, Seymour, Ind.; WKXO, Caro, Mich.; WMJL, Marion, Ky.; WMOC, Chattanooga, Tenn.; WMTL, Leitchfield, Ky.; WNES, Central City. Ky.; WNKY, Neon, Ky.; WNTT, Tazewell, Tenn.; WSLV, Ardmore, Tenn.; WSTL, Eminence, Ky.; WVAK, Paoli, Ind.; WWXL, Manchester, Ky.
n5 WAWK, Kendalville, Ind.; WBGN, Bowling Green, Ky.; WDXB, Chattanooga, Tenn.; WGNS, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; WGOW, Chattanooga, Tenn.; WHAL, Shelbyville, Tenn.; WHEL, New Albany, Ind.; WHUT, Anderson Ind.; WIKY, Evansville, Ind.; WIVK, Knoxville, Tenn.; WJSO, Jonesboro, Tenn.; WJZM, Clarksville, Tenn.; WKDA, Nashville, Tenn.; WKGN, Knoxville, Tenn.; WKXO, Berea, Ky.; WKYE, Bristol, Tenn.; WLYV, Ft. Wayne, Ind.; WMAK, Nashville, Tenn.; WMOC, Chattanooga, Tenn.; WSAC, Fort Knox, Ky.; WSIX, Nashville, Tenn.; WXLW, Indianapolis, Ind.; WXVW, Jeffersonville, Ind.
We have been considering changes in standards for license renewals for years. In the interim, we continue to note with approval staff decisions to renew countless licenses of stations falling below even this 5-1-5 standard. I believe we should do much more. See Broadcasting in America, 42 FCC 2d 1 (1973). In no event, however, can I conclude that our current procedures serve the public interest; therefore, I cannot join in the Commission's action.