New Jersey Senate Hopeful Wants FCC to Revoke WWOR’s License

By Kevin Eck 

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U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, a Democratic New Jersey congressman running for Senate, is asking the FCC to revoke the license of WWOR, the state’s only high-powered commercial TV station.

FOX, which owns WWOR, announced last week it was pulling the station’s only newscast and replacing it with “Chasing New Jersey” a 30-minute show focused on “issues driving conversations” in the state.

Pallone voiced his thoughts on twitter by saying, “WWOR’s cancellation of nightly news fails New Jerseyans who want & deserve local news coverage. FCC must take action.”

>UPDATE: WWOR vice president and station manager, Dianne Doctor said in a statement sent to TVSpy, “Based in Trenton, ‘Chasing NJ’ is a news program immersed in all aspects of the state. Politics. People. Issues. It’s enterprise journalism that no one else is doing.”

In a letter to acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, Pallone wrote, “WWOR has failed for over a decade to live up to its broadcasting obligations to New Jersey. In addition, since purchasing WWOR in 2001, News Corporation, now 21st Century Fox, has done everything they can to avoid any commitment to serve as a truly New Jersey station.”

In 1983, then New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley sponsored a bill granting automatic license renewal to any station moving into a state without a commercial station. At the time, the only two states that fit that description were Delaware and New Jersey. WWOR, then known as WOR, moved from New York to Secaucus in 1986.

Pallone also told the FCC, “In fact, considering the license renewal application of WWOR is pending before the FCC, I believe that the current license should be revoked until you can place additional conditions on the station to ensure that WWOR is both based in New Jersey and provides local news coverage to the state.”

Pallone currently represents New Jersey’s 6th District. He is running in a special election for the Senate seat of Sen. Frank Lautenberg who died while in office last month.

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