FCC brushes aside aging petitions


Citizens objecting to the airing of allegedly indecent material have filed to deny license renewals for stations owned by Clear Channel and Emmis. In Clear Channel’s case, the station in question is WKQI-FM in Detroit, with the complaint coming from Word of Faith International Christian Center. In Emmis’s case, objections to renewals for a number of stations in Indianapolis and Terre Haute IN were brought by serial objector David Edward Smith. In both cases, the petitions have been gathering some dust. The Word of Faith informal objection to Clear Channel’s renewal dates back to 10/5/04, and Smith’s action, also an informal objection, was filed 7/23/04. Since then, both Clear Channel and Emmis have entered into consent decrees with the FCC dealing with indecency issues. The broadcasts in question occurred before the consent decree, and according to the FCC, each "complaint…is barred from consideration…"

A somewhat stranger situation exists in an objection to the sale of WVEI-FM Easthampton MA from Great Northern Radio to Entercom. An objection to the transaction was filed on 3/29/06 by Irene M. Stolz on 3/29/06 on both indecency and payola grounds. The oddity is that Ms. Stolz passed away 3/24/06. Entercom argued that this put her standing to file to an end, but the FCC allowed the complainants to press the objection as the Estate of Irene M. Stolz, Edward R. Stolz II, Executor. However, it too was brushed aside. The objection did not cite any specific instances of indecency programming, and the payola issue was settled via a consent decree.