The FCC stands firm, rejecting the challenges put forth regarding the bankruptcy sale of Inner City Broadcasting to creditor-owner YMF Media. Inner City has WLIB-AM and WBLS as part of its stable of 16 stations.
Brooklyn Councilman and talk show host Charles Barron and three others filed one claim with the FCC, while a separate petition was also rejected.
Barron’s petition alleged that the sale would “result in an unlawful reduction of programming geared toward Black and local audiences,” according to All Access.
Furthermore, Barron had contended that Fortess Investment Group had control of the new licensee and had violated alien ownership restrictions. Barron also charges that Fortress engaged in predatory and racially discriminating lending practices that led to the demise of Black-owned stations for its part as manager of the D.B. Zwirn hedge funds.
In its ruling, the Commission stated that Fortress does not have an attributable interest in YMF, and the FCC does not take programming decisions into consideration in approving sales.
In April, WBLS, founded in 1974, began to see the pendulum swing in its favor after KISS FM lost the 98.7 signal to ESPN. In the latest Arbitron ratings, WBLS climbed to second place.