New Jersey Senator Says News Corp. and WWOR Not Serving State

By Kevin Eck 

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez (D) has added his voice to those calling for the FCC to look into FOX owned MyNetworkTV affiliate WWOR before renewing its license.

In a letter addressed to acting FCC chairwoman Mignon Clyburn, Menendez wrote, “In light of WWOR’s decision to drop their nightly news programming, a decision which affects millions of New Jerseyans, it is becoming increasingly critical that the FCC make a determination about WWOR’s license and whether they are adequately serving New Jersey as the law and FCC rules stipulate.  From my perspective, News Corporation is not.”

Last week FOX announced it was dropping the station’s lone newscast at 10:00pm and replacing it with “Chasing New Jersey,” a 30-minute show focusing on “issues driving conversations” in the state.

Yesterday, WWOR vice president and general manager Dianne Doctor defended the switch saying, “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 his letter, Menendez asks the FCC perform a “prompt and through” review of News Corporations’ application for license renewal which has been pending since 2007. He also writes, “I further request that the FCC conclude its ongoing investigation concerning misrepresentations by WWOR included in their license renewal proceedings.”

Monday, Senate hopeful Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) called on the FCC to revoke the station’s license. “WWOR has failed for over a decade to live up to its broadcasting obligations to New Jersey,” Pallone wrote in a letter to Clyburn.

Pallone is running in a special election for the Senate seat of Sen. Frank Lautenberg who died last month. In his letter, Menendez talked about Lautenberg’s efforts surrounding WWOR, “He showed that at one point WWOR went by My9NY, he fought against News Corporation’s attempt to move WWOR news operations to New York, and he highlighted studies that revealed WWOR actually provided less coverage of New Jersey politics than New York-based television stations.”

We have reached out to FOX for comment and will update when we hear back.