U.S. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker slammed Federal Communications Commissions chairman Ajit Pai for renewing WWOR-TV’s broadcast license after the network sold its New Jersey offices and essentially pulled out of the state.
“The decision to renew the license is especially concerning given the recent news that the new owners of WWOR’s former facility in New Jersey are demolishing the broadcast equipment at that location,” the two wrote in a letter to Pai. “In fact, the FCC renewed WWOR’s licenses a mere month before the station sold its New Jersey facility, effectively terminating its operational and physical presence in our state. We believe that this information was highly relevant to the Commission’s decision whether to renew WWOR-TV’s license, given that the station is under special obligations to serve northern New Jersey pursuant to section 331 and its license terms.”
New Jersey’s representatives in Washington have long held concerns over WWOR’s license.
U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg tried to have it pulled before his death, and Rep. Frank Pallone followed suit.
The Fox-owned station cut its nightly New Jersey-based newscasts in 2013.
It replaced nightly news with what is now known as Chasing News, an infotainment program headed by conservative politician Bill Spadea.
“For more than a decade, WWOR has failed to live up to its obligations to the people of New Jersey,” senators said. “And we believe that in renewing this license, the FCC has failed to live up to its statutory obligations under Section 309(k)(1) of the Communications Act to examine whether WWOR has complied with its obligation to ‘serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.’”