Tuesday, December 11, 2012
MILWAUKEE – The Federal Communications Commission has now admitted it has received the petitions to deny the renewal of the broadcast licenses of WISN-AM and WTMJ-AM radio stations – which would prevent them from broadcasting – after claiming they had not been filed, according to the Media Action Center.
MAC, a national media watchdog, announced in November it had filed paperwork with the FCC challenging the licenses of Clear Channel's WISN-AM and Journal Communications' WTMJ-AM. It had hoped the FCC would act by Dec. 1.
MAC conducted a comprehensive study in May/June of 2012 – during the Scott Walker recall campaign – which clearly showed the two stations each gave supporters of Gov. Walker and the GOP about 80 minutes of free airtime daily on local talk radio shows, while refusing any access to supporters of Mayor Tom Barrett and Democrats whatsoever. In total, the two stations subsidized the Walker campaign with an estimated $1 million dollars in airtime.
MAC now reports that after first saying they were never received, Peter Doyle, FCC Chief of the Audio Division, has confirmed MAC's Petitions to Deny the renewal of the broadcast licenses of WISN-AM and WTMJ-AM radio stations have been located and were filed on time, and the cases will proceed.
But in emails to a third party, FCC Political Division Chief Mark Berlin claims the original formal complaint upon which the license challenges are based was never received, despite him personally sending MAC Director Sue Wilson confirmation it had been received.