Tribune waiver requests are on the ex parte line


Tribune Broadcasting’s “Joint Plan of Reorganization for Tribune Company and its Subsidiaries” requires the transfer of all of its FCC licenses, and it exposes all relationships held by dint of a waiver to reconsideration. The FCC put the proceeding, listed under MB Docket No. 10-104, under ex parte permit-but-disclose procedure at the request of Tribune counsel.

Petitions to deny are due 6/14/10. Those submitting a petition or otherwise commenting on the proposed transaction become a party to the proceeding, and are encouraged to state their case fully the first time around – new issues are not permitted in responses.

To recap, there are three simple waiver-requiring cross-ownership situations include the pairings of WPIX-TV and Newsday in the New York City DMA, KTLA-TV and the Los Angeles Times in the Los Angeles DMA and WSFL-TV and the Sun Sentinel in the Miami DMA.

Chicago is a special situation: a three-entity market, and the iconic grouping of WGN-AM, WGN-TV and the Chicago Tribune. The combination has already been granted a permanent waiver by the FCC.

A flagship/satellite relationship exists between WTTV-TV Bloomington IN and its satellite, WTTK-TV Kokomo IN; a waiver is required to keep that situation in place.

Finally, two waivers are required in Hartford CT. For starters, there are two television stations, WTIC-TV and WTXX-TV, combined with The Hartford Courant, requiring a cross-ownership waiver. And Tribune bought WTXX under a failed station waiver, which it needs to have renewed.