Full coverage of the Strange v Entercom trial is found at SueWilsonReports.com

FCC 'Finds' License Challenge Pleadings to Yank WISN & WTMJ Broadcast Rights for Giving $1 Million in Free Airtime to Gov. Walker; FCC Staffer Still Claiming Original Complaint Missing

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.
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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.
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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. 
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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.  
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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.



Wilson, in a terse reply to Berlin November 30, reminded him that they spoke personally about the case, and that she had emailed the complaint and several follow-ups to his division, one as recently as November 5.  She forwarded all original communications to Berlin as proof; thus far she has not had any reply.
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"This complaint is critical to the First Amendment rights of those in the community who are being denied access to scarce microphones during political campaigns.  Do radio licensees have the right to use our publicly owned airwaves as a cheerleader for only one political party during campaigns, while shutting the other party out?    This is clearly not in the public interest, but it appears the FCC is doing what it typically does when it comes to its duty to protect the public - it is ignoring the public.  We will not allow that to happen," said Wilson.
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The FCC legal petitions can be found at: http://www.mediaactioncenter.net.
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