The NAACP last week urged federal regulators to strip Rupert Murdoch of his U.S. TV stations, charging Fox “stonewalled” the FCC by not admitting until last year that nearly all the coin used to buy six broadcast stations was coming from Australia-based News Corp.
The petition from the civil-rights organization came as Murdoch held a rare news conference to parry claims that Fox has played fast and loose with rules barring foreigners from owning 25% of any U.S. TV station.
“The fact is they (the FCC) made a proper decision (in 1986) and have been vindicated by the establishment of the fourth net work,” Murdoch said.
Murdoch’s hourlong briefing in New York (with a video hookup to reporters in D.C.) came as the Federal Communications Commission is drawing to a close a high-stakes probe into the ownership structure of Fox’s stations.
At issue is whether Murdoch deliberately concealed the sources of his financing when in 1986 he bought the six Metro-media stations that serve as the backbone of the Fox weblet.
The National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People charged that Fox dodged specific questions related to its Australian financing for nearly a decade.