FCC upholds Reading rescue


A challenge to the $13.5M acquisition of WTVE-TV Reading PA (serving the Philadelphia DMA) has been rebuffed by the FCC. Richard French’s WRNN-TV Associates already had FCC approval as of spring 2008, but another suitor for the station, Philadelphia Television Network, asked to have the decision reviewed. PTN itself was turned down as a buyer from trustee George Miller (for Reading Broadcasting Inc.) due to lack of funding; PTN argued that the FCC jumped the gun on the bankruptcy court in granting the transaction and that WRNN wasn’t sufficiently funded itself. The FCC said there was no court contingency for it to worry about, and that WRNN’s financial qualifications were known and agreed to by all parties. The application for review was denied and the deal is clear to progress toward closing.