Media Action Center to file FCC challenge to WTMJ, WISN licenses

From my email inbox comes this announcement:

National Media Watchdog Files FCC Legal Challenge to
Pull Radio Licenses of WISN-AM and WTMJ-AM

MILWAUKEE, WI – A national media watchdog said it has filed official legal challenges with the Federal Communications Commission to deny radio licenses to Clear Channel’s WISN-AM and Journal Communications’ WTMJ-AM.

Details will be provided at a NEWS CONFERENCE on TUESDAY (Nov. 20) at 9:30 a.m. in front of WTMJ, 720 East Capitol Drive, in Milwaukee. Randy Bryce and members of Media Action Center (MAC) of Wisconsin will participate.

These legal challenges – unlike citizen petitions – can deny the stations’ right to broadcast to the greater community of Milwaukee, including Rep. Paul Ryan’s district. The FCC is expected to rule on the case by Dec. 1.

MAC will confirm at the news briefing that its decision to go to the FCC is based on a study during the Scott Walker Recall campaign that revealed WISN and WTMJ gave supporters of Gov. Walker an estimated $1 million in free airtime, while refusing any access to supporters of the other side, in a clear violation of federal law.

“The behavior of WISN and WTMJ shows clear political intent, which violates FCC rules, as well as a lack of character to hold a broadcasting license. The FCC must not renew those licenses and should award them to new operators,” said MAC director Sue Wilson in advance of the news conference.

To be honest, I’m not surprised by this complaint, because WISN and WTMJ have long been nothing more than willing mouthpieces for Gov. Scott Walker and any other Republican who wanted an open line to those two stations’ listeners.

What a bunch of Grade-A hypocrites at WTMJ

From the WTMJ News Team…

We have some news we need to tell you about ourselves, and the recall election against Governor Scott Walker.

TODAY’S TMJ4 and Newsradio 620 WTMJ discovered that several members of our staff signed the recall petitions for Governor Walker.

The posting by the WTMJ News Team continues, “Our reputation of being a fair and unbiased news source is of paramount importance to both TODAY’S TMJ4 and Newsradio 620 WTMJ.”

There’s a tremendous amount of irony in the folks at Newsradio 620 WTMJ being concerned about their reputation as a “fair and unbiased news source,” considering their stable of “fair and unbiased” personalities like Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner. According to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign’s Campaign Finance Database, “fair and unbiased” Charlie Sykes donated $500 to then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker in 2010, leaving me to question just how “fair and unbiased” Charlie Sykes really is.

According to the report by the WTMJ News Team, WTMJ is “in the process of dealing with it internally,” leaving me to wonder why WTMJ would take any action at all against its employees for daring to exercise their constitutional rights to sign a recall petition under the guise of protecting the station’s reputation as a “fair and unbiased” news source while at the same time turning a blind eye to Charlie Sykes’ significant donation to the gubernatorial campaign of Scott Walker. The fact that Charlie Sykes saw fit to donate $500 of his own money to help elect a Republican governor seems to undermine WMTJ’s quest to preserve their reputation as a “fair and unbiased” news source, and the fact that WTMJ has turned a blind eye to Charlie Sykes’ extremely partisan bias shows what a bunch of Grade-A hypocrites the folks at WTMJ are.

The folks at WTMJ should be ashamed of themselves for targeting staffers who signed petitions to recall Gov. Scott Walker while at the same time turning a blind eye to the highly partisan behavior of Charlie Sykes.

MAL Contends has more on this.