Commissioner Pai Statement on Three TV Stations Going Dark
Federal Communications Commission
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See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2014
Matthew Berry (202) 418-2005
STATEMENT OF FCC COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI
ON THREE TV STATIONS GOING DARK FOLLOWING THE
FCC’S REVIEW OF THE SINCLAIR/ALLBRITTON TRANSACTION
Today, the FCC’s crackdown on joint sales agreements claims three more victims:
television stations in the Birmingham, Alabama market (WCFT and WJSU) and one television
station in Charleston, South Carolina (WCIV).
This time, the hammer falls as part of the
agency’s review of the Sinclair/Allbritton transaction. Under the parties’ original proposal and
the rules that were in effect when the transaction was presented to the Commission, these three
stations would have continued providing local service to their communities.
But because of the
Commission’s new rules, the Media Bureau’s order requires them to go dark within sixty days.
How does this outcome serve the cause of diversity? And how does this outcome serve
the cause of competition?
In Charleston, South Carolina, for example, WCIV would have been
owned and operated by Howard Stirk Holdings, Inc., an African-American owned broadcast
But apparently the Commission believes that it is better for that station to go out of
business than for Howard Stirk Holdings to own the station and participate in a joint sales
agreement with Sinclair.
I strongly disagree.
And so too, I’ll bet, would consumers in
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