Clear Channel Is Fined But Wins License Renewal for Four California Stations

The fines involve KNEW(AM) in Oakland and KSJO(FM), San Jose, for violations involving public inspection files and the renewal application process.
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Clear Channel is being hit with two $10,000 fines by the FCC but will retain four California licenses that had been challenged for renewal.

The fines involve KNEW(AM) in Oakland and KSJO(FM), San Jose, for violations involving public inspection files and the renewal application process.

But the commission renewed those licenses as well as those of KYLD(FM) and KMEL(FM) in San Francisco.

The commission staff found that the petitioners — as well as a number of people who sent informal complaints to the FCC — “failed to raise a substantial and material question of fact calling into question Clear Channel’s character or its basic qualifications as a licensee so as to require an evidentiary hearing.”

Challengers to license renewal, including the Youth Media Council, told the FCC that the stations had provided insufficient public affairs programming, failed to provide reasonable access to public files, lacked emergency preparedness in the Bay Area and broadcast offensive programming.

Part of their evidence was a 2002 study titled “Is KMEL the People’s Station?” which argued among other things that KMEL routinely excludes the voices of local youth organizers and artists, and focuses disproportionately on crime and violence.

One of the challenging groups also argued that the Jeffrey Katz and Michael Savage programs on KNEW(AM) consistently stereotype and advocate violence against undocumented workers, Muslims, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered persons and that the station encourages “physical violence as a solution to social problems.”

Read the case here.

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