CMA Resubmits Second Appeal for Petition To Deny Against Nine Chicago TV Stations

Posted by Mitchell - August 26, 2008 (entry 608)

For the past three years, the FCC has been playing a very slow game of table tennis against CMA, the Milwaukee Public Interest Media Coalition, and our legal counsel at the Media Access Project. It's slow, but the stakes are quite high: to deny the licenses of nine Chicago-area commercial TV stations, along with commercial stations in Milwaukee, and to set what could be a serious precedent, not just Chicago but nationally.

Coinciding with a window of opportunity that opens only once every eight years, CMA and our friends submitted our petitions to deny, as anyone can do (if they know about it and know how to proceed). That petition got rejected after more than a year-and-half-long wait. Then a month later we submitted an appeal to that petition, which itself got rejected again exactly one year after our filing.

Now, we can announce that we have pursued what might be an unprecedented third appeal to the FCC -- a "Second Petition for Reconsideration" as it's termed.

We have commented on the CMA website and elsewhere as to how the FCC has been shifting the goalposts in its responses to CMA et alia -- accusing us of being too qualitative in the course of one rejection, and then saying we're not qualitative enough in a second rejection. Here, black-letter legal form -- and in under six pages, we call them out on this blatant double-standard. You can read the Second Petition for Reconsideration here.

Considering the track record that the FCC has for turnaround on this matter (and on matters that actually impact the public generally), humans could land on Mars by the time this shakes out. But remember that the struggle that we're enacting is something that we're building on. The groundbreaking struggle against the previously-racist WLBT channel took at least seven years to proceed. As struggles go, this struggle is still pretty young, but we could be laying the groundwork for dramatic changes, as we've seen before.

Press Coverage: Chicago Sun-Times | Chicago Daily Herald

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