Informal Objection on Politics Doesn't Fly
The Curators of the University of Missouri have had their license for KWMU-FM in St. Louis renewed despite an objection from political candidate William Haas. Haas says host Don Marsh disparaged Haas’ candidacy several times prior to the election, and that a guest of Marsh’s show allegedly insulted Haas’ candidacy. He also says he was denied air time. The Commission responded by stating, "Informal objections to license renewal applications must provide properly supported allegations of fact."
Haas complained that Marsh, as well as a guest on Marsh’s show, disparaged Haas’ candidacy. The Commission points out that Haas showed no proof that either person’s comments represented the views of the Station. Noncommercial educational stations are not allowed to support or oppose any candidate for public office. Therefore, according to the Commission, "Haas has not raised a substantial and material question of fact calling for further inquiry regarding whether the station “opposed” Haas’ candidacy in violation of Section 399 of the Act. Accordingly, we reject these allegations."
The Commission went on to say that, "Stations are not required to have any candidates on a particular program. Moreover, the reasonable access requirements of Section 312(a)(7) apply only to commercial stations and only to candidates for federal elective office – neither of which are at issue here. Accordingly, whether or not Haas’ call was taken during a call-in show, the Station’s actions violate no statute, rule, or Commission policy."
Read the full FCC filing HERE
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