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KHQ license is challenged

January 7, 1981

Spokane Daily Chronicle

The Federal Communications Commission apparently is considering a petition filed by a Spokane man seeking denial of renewal of the licenses of KHQ radio and television stations.

Dean Mell, KHQ news director, said the station received informal notification of the petition yesterday, but has not received a copy of the document. A spokeswoman for the FCC was unable to confirm today whether the petition actually has been filed.

Information indicates that the petition was filed by a Washington, D.C., citizens group on behalf of Terrence Fancher, a 1971 graduate of Ferris High School, now a student at Harvard University Law School. Fancher had filed an informal complaint earlier based on the cross-ownership by the Cowles Publishing Co. of KHQ and Spokane’s two daily newspapers.

Mell said Fancher’s earlier informal petition was in support of a Justice Department complaint filed in 1975, when an investigation was ordered into the philosophy of cross-ownership of several radio and television stations across the country. That complaint subsequently was withdrawn after an “exhaustive investigation,” Mell said.

“While we are in limbo land, they (the FCC) keep granting extensions to continue to operate until the FCC resolves the matter,” Mell said.

The stations’ 1972 FCC licenses were to expire in January 1975, but the stations have been operating under the extensions pending a final decision on the renewal.

Mell said the station has until Feb. 2 to respond to the complaint. The FCC then will determine the merits of the issue, ruling on the information it has or scheduling hearings.

Wednesday, January 7, 1981

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From → KHQ

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