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TV, radio stations: Licenses renewed

July 30, 1981

Spokane Daily Chronicle

The Federal Communications Commission today renewed the licenses of the KHQ radio and television stations, ending a six-year dispute. The renewals were granted for three years each, retroactive to Feb. 1, 1981.

J. Birney Blair, president and general manager for KHQ Inc., was in Washington, D.C., for today’s FCC announcement.

Blair was not immediately available for comment, but in a statement released through KHQ spokesmen here, he said the commission’s vote for the renewal today was unanimous and “rejected the allegations filed some time ago, except one isolated incident the FCC regarded as insignificant.”

The FCC had been considering a petition seeking denial of renewal of the licenses, filed 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.

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 numerous radio and television stations across the country. After an investigation, that complaint was subsequently withdrawn.

Blair’s statement did not elaborate on the incident termed “insignificant,” which was reportedly related to cross-promotion between the newspapers and broadcast stations.

Blair did say one FCC commissioner “noted critically” that renewal of the licenses had been “held up seven years by a student writing a doctorate dissertation.”

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

Terrence Fancher, whom his brother, Spokane attorney Frederic G. Fancher said is working this summer for a San Francisco law firm, also could not be reached for comment by press time.

Thursday, July 30, 1981

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From → KHQ

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