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Media and FCC Veterans Join the Media and Democracy Project in FCC Meeting Calling for a Hearing on Petition to Deny Fox Affiliate Broadcast License

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The Media and Democracy Project (MAD) announced it met with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Media Bureau staff about its petition challenging the broadcast license renewal application for FOX Corp-owned television station FOX 29 Philadelphia (WTXF). The meeting focused on the basis for MAD's Petition to Deny and urged the FCC to grant a motion to compel FOX to turn over key relevant documents that have already been produced to plaintiffs in numerous lawsuits, including the settled Dominion case. This action is aimed at ensuring that the Commission has access to all the necessary facts as they evaluate the specific character and conduct issues relevant to Fox 29's renewal.

MAD’s Executive Director Milo Vassallo was joined at the FCC by former FCC Chairman Alfred Sikes, former FOX lobbyist Preston Padden, former FOX and News Corp. outside legal counsel Bill Reyner and former Weekly Standard Editor William Kristol.

Petitioners Seeking FCC Hearing On Murdoch/FOX Character Qualifications To Remain Public Interest Broadcast Licensee

They discussed how the lies about the 2020 election that aired on Fox News, authorized at the highest levels of FOX’s corporate structure to retain FOX’s viewer base and reverse failing ratings, represent egregious misconduct that shocks the conscience and severely violates the FCC policy on licensee character qualifications. The group also underscored the need for the Commission to designate WTXF’s broadcast license renewal for a hearing.

"Never in the history of the Commission has the agency been confronted with a license renewal applicant whose parent company was found by a court of law to have repeatedly presented false news," said Preston Padden. “We were proud to bring a highly esteemed group before the Media Bureau to make our case and we hope that the Commission recognizes that all of these Petitioners/Commenters are unpaid volunteers acting out of principle and commitment.”

A copy of MAD’s Ex Parte filing summarizing the meeting can be found here. A high resolution copy of the photo is available here.

Photo Caption: Left to Right - David Goodfriend, Counsel/Advisor; William Kristol, Longtime Editor of Conservative Murdoch Magazine The Weekly Standard; Art Belendiuk; Counsel To Media And Democracy Project; Milo Vassallo, M.D./Ph.D. Executive Director of the non-partisan Media and Democracy Project; Preston Padden, Former Fox Executive and Murdoch Lead Lobbyist; Bill Reyner, Longtime Lead Regulatory and Commercial Outside Counsel To Murdoch/Fox; Al Sikes, Former Republican Chairman Of The FCC and Former Owner Of Radio Station Group

The Media and Democracy Project: MAD is a non-partisan, all-volunteer, grassroots organization focused on strengthening a free and independent media in the public interest. MAD aims to improve our national discourse so that American voters can engage in informed decision-making. As part of that goal, MAD has an interest in the responsibility of journalists and media to report fully, accurately, and fairly on the electoral process and the outcome of elections. Additional information is available at www.MediaAndDemocracyProject.Org.

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