FCC Responds To Appeal Of Grant Of WLIB-WBLS Sale
March 31, 2015 at 11:53 AM (PT)
The FCC has filed its brief against the appeal filed by challengers to the sale of Urban AC WBLS and Gospel WLIB-A/NEW YORK by INNER CITY's URBAN RADIO I, LLC, as debtor-in-possession, to YMF MEDIA, NEW YORK LICENSEE LLC. Former WLIB talk host BOB LAW, NEW YORK City Councilman CHARLES BARRON, COMMITTEE TO ELIMINATE MEDIA OFFENSIVE TO AFRICAN PEOPLE (CEMOTAP) member BETTY DOPSON, and MICHAEL D. NORTH filed an appeal of the denial of their Application for Review of the sale in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, alleging that the deal would “result in an unlawful reduction of programming geared toward Black and local audiences,” and “promote further consolidation of media into the hands of corporate elite” which “threatens to undermine democracy and public ownership of the airwaves.”
In the brief, the Commission states that the four plaintiffs lack standing to challenge the deal because they only claim to be listeners but have not demonstrated direct injury they would receive from grant of the transfer, and raised constitutional (equal protection and a "hint" of a First Amendment claim) issues that were not included in the original Petition to Deny and went beyond the permissible scope of Commission inquiry.
WLIB and WBLS were subsequently sold by YMF to EMMIS.