FCC Renews Vermont Public Radio Licenses Over Objections
October 9, 2007 at 3:26 PM (PT)
The FCC has rejected challenges by listeners PETER D. MOSS and PEGGY SAPPHIRE to the licenses held by VERMONT PUBLIC RADIO.
MOSS objected to VPR as "nothing more than a regime propaganda tool... slavishly support[ing] the rotten conservative Bushist [sic] regime line and lies" and claimed federal funding heavily influences VPR's programming, but said he would withdraw his objection if the network changed its self-description from "public broadcasting" to "federally subsidized." He also objected to an interview program with prison officials, which he claimed was intended to divert attention from sentencing decisions by Judge ED CUSHMAN. SAPPHIRE complained that the network does not carry AMY GOODMAN's "DEMOCRACY NOW" and requested that the FCC withhold the stations' licenses until it agrees to carry the show.
The Commission dismissed the objections on First Amendment grounds and the policy for the FCC not to get involved with programming decisions.
Commission Reverses Grant Of Florida Noncomm
In another case, the Commission granted a Petition to Deny filed by CENTRAL FLORIDA EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION, INC. against the tentative grant of a construction permit for a noncommercial educational FM in MERRITT ISLAND, FL to MERRITT ISLAND PUBLIC RADIO, INC. The parties were among four applicants for mutually exclusive proposed FMs in MERRITT ISLAND and COCOA BEACH, and MIPR was granted the CP based on a point system that gave it three points as an "established local applicant." CFEF complained that MIPR was only formed about 22 months before the "snapshot date" for determining local status, and the FCC agreed that under its definition of "established," the organization, regardless of how long its members have lived in the community, falsely (but not deliberately so) certified that it was located within the community for at least two years.
The grant has been rescinded and the matter sent by the Media Bureau to the Commission for further consideration, with MIPR given 30 days to produce any documentation to establish its local credentials, with the other parties getting an additional 15 days to respond.