FCC Rejects CREW's Petition, but Leaves Door Open to Future Action Against News Corp.

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Matt Jacob
Phone: 202.408.5565

FCC Rejects CREW's Petition, but Leaves Door Open to Future Action Against News Corp.

WASHINGTON - Today, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rejected CREW’s petition to deny the renewals of three Fox television broadcast licenses for failing to meet the character requirement the Communications Act imposes on all broadcast licensees.  CREW filed its petition last August based on the extensive evidence of misconduct by Rupert Murdoch and News Corp. in the United Kingdom, which includes phone hacking and bribery.  CREW also relied on a British Parliamentary Committee’s conclusion that Mr. Murdoch was not fit to “exercise stewardship of a major international company.”

The FCC agreed that the investigative records of both the British Committee and the Leveson Inquiry raise “serious questions” of “misconduct by News Corp. subsidiaries,” but found that because neither included any formal adjudication of misconduct, CREW’s petition could not be considered.  The Commission noted that other agencies “with more appropriate expertise and resources, are in the process of investigating these and related allegations.”

The FCC also noted that today’s ruling “does not minimize the seriousness of the allegations that have been raised, does not represent a judgment on the merits of any ongoing investigation of those allegations, and does not represent a predetermination of how the Commission will act should there ultimately be an adjudication on the merits of any of the allegations that have been raised.”  Following any adjudication on the merits, “the Commission will review the facts at that time and take such action as may be appropriate.”  In other words, this isn’t over.  CREW will be keeping tabs on the status of the multiple investigations into News Corp.’s reprehensible conduct and as soon as there is some sort of adjudication, will renew its petition.

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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.

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