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Washington Notes

Oct 20, 2003  •  Post A Comment

The Federal Communications Commission last week warned NBC-owned WJAR-TV in Providence, R.I., and six other TV stations that they could lose their digital TV construction permits if they don’t launch DTV operations soon. Last week, the FCC announced that it will not grant WJAR and the six other stations additional reprieve, putting them on notice with letters of admonishment.
The six other stations receiving the warnings were Emmis Communications’ WVUE-TV in New Orleans; Northwest Broadcasting’s WICZ-TV in Binghampton, N.Y., and KMVU-TV in Medford, Ore.; Granite Broadcasting’s WKBW-TV in Buffalo, N.Y.; and Puerto Rico stations WSJU-TV, San Juan, and WDWL-TV, Bayamon.
Media Deregulation Hearings Set
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia has scheduled oral hearings Jan. 12 to consider lawsuits seeking to overturn the FCC’s media ownership deregulation. The hearings were originally slated for Nov. 5. The justices gave no official explanation for the rescheduling. But Andrew Schwartzman, president of the Media Access Project-the group leading the court charge against the FCC’s deregulation-said the case is still moving on a fast pace, with a final decision anticipated as early as April. “The court is continuing to press the attorneys on what by any accounts is a very rapid time frame, “ Mr. Schwartzman said.