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FCC Begged To Okay License

Supporters of a Spanish-language Chicago tv station threatened with license revocation held a press conference on Capitol Hill last week to pressure the Federal Communications Commission to reverse its decision.

Appearing in support of The Coalition in Defense of Access to Channel 44 last week was Rep. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.), a member of the U.S. House telecommunications subcommittee. Richardson said the FCC decision was “wrong… and must be changed.” He also pledged to seek congressional hearings on whether the FCC is sensitive enough to minority concerns.

WSNS-TV Chicago, an indie UHF outlet owned by Video 44 of Chicago, was turned down for license renewal by the FCC last September. Action came after a decade-long fight for the station license started by Chicago-based Monroe Communications.

Monroe challenged WSNS’ license renewal in 1982 after Video 44 briefly switched from a Hispanic-language service to a pay-tv outlet. During its format change, Video 44 was accused of airing obscene programming.

Video 44 is continuing to operate the station while it pursues a legal challenge. If the FCC eventually rejects the challenge, Monroe will get the station.

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