Could The War In Ukraine Stop Tavis Smiley’s KBLA Buy?


On April 18 RBR+TVBR first reported on the acquisition of KBLA-AM 1580 in Santa Monica, Calif., serving the Los Angeles African American community with spoken word programming, by a licensee led by an individual who has been operating the station via an LMA since November 2020.

Now, a Petition to Deny stands in front of the FCC that could thwart the deal — at least in the eyes of one Washington, D.C., attorney and his client — the Ukranian Congress Committee of America. Why does the UCCA care about KBLA, and its proposed transfer of control to Tavis Smiley?

It’s all about the seller’s relationship with Sputnik, a service created by the Russian government-owned news agency Rossiya Segodnya, and indirectly brings the War in Ukraine to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission.

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