Binghamton Public FM Wins Renewal Over Objections

The objectors argued that the station airs little if any local news coverage, and that the news it does carry is from a news service outside the area, with few local announcements except about the arts.
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Over the protests of three objectors, WSKG(FM) in Binghamton, N.Y., has won license renewal.

Peter Hudiburg, Horace Albaugh and Hilton Baxter filed objections to the renewal in 2006, which the FCC Media Bureau now has rejected.

The objectors argued that the station airs little if any local news coverage, and that the news it does carry is from a news service outside the area, with few local announcements except about the arts. They also wanted WSKG to air “Democracy Now” and alleged that the station had yielded to pressure from a state lawmaker in not airing the program.

They further said WSKG uses donor funds to settle sexual discrimination cases rather than for programming, and that it failed to maintain a required list of donors supporting specific programs.

The commission staff said the record doesn’t support the claims about the station’s program judgment and that the objectors ignored the fact that WSKG aired “Democracy Now” over a sister FM in Binghamton. “The commission will not take adverse action on a license renewal application based on the subjective determination of a listener or group of listeners as to what constitutes appropriate programming,” it emphasized.

It also found no basis for refusing license renewal in the other claims.

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