URL 31: The FCC Tells Channel 13, “You’re a Naughty Boy, and Please Don’t Do This Again” (February 16,1972) (In Chapter 36, page 171) (338 words) (33,732 cum words)
|This refers to complaints against you which were considered by the Commission before its grant of your application of renewal of the license of Station KSHO-TV and for transfer of negative control of the licensee.
Complaints were received from Professor Donald W. Hendon of the University of Nevada Las Vegas alleging (1) that you were not carrying ABC network programs in their entirety, and (2) that the licensee attempted to bring about termination of Professor Hendon’s employment by the University because he had filed the first complaint with the Commission.
The Commission conducted a field investigation into both of Professor Hendon’s complaints.
Information obtained regarding failure to carry network programs in their entirety is summarized in a Notice of Apparent Liability issued to you on January 26, 1972, for violation of Section 317 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 73.654 and 73.1205 of the Commission’s Rules.
The investigation into the allegation that you sought to bring about termination of Professor Hendon’s employment included interviews with Mr. Hendon, the President and other officials of the University, and the Vice President and General Manager of the licensee. A copy of a letter from a major stockholder of the licensee to the University was obtained. The writer of the letter submitted an affidavit regarding his alleged intentions in writing the letter and the circumstances which he states prompted the writing of it.
Careful consideration of all of the information thus obtained resulted in our determination that the evidence does not justify designation of your application for hearing.
We wish to remind you and all other licensees, however, that intimidation of harassment of persons for filing complaints with the Commission is contrary to the public interest in that it tends to discourage expression of public opinion on the service being rendered by broadcast stations. Appropriate sanctions will be imposed whenever evidence is available to establish that a licensee engages in such practices.
Commissioners Robert E. Lee and H. Rex Lee absent; Commissioner Johnson dissenting and issuing a statement. (Footnote 1: Robert E. Lee died in 1993 at the age of 81. H. Rex Lee died in 2001 at the age of 91.)