FCC takes calls to pull Fox's broadcast licenses 'very seriously'


Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski testified Wednesday that his agency takes calls to cancel Fox's broadcast licenses "very seriously."

Groups, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), have urged the FCC to pull Fox's licenses because of evidence that its parent company News Corp. hacked people's phones in the United Kingdom to get stories.

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During a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) pressed Genachowski on whether he plans to do anything about the allegations.

Genachowski said it wouldn't be appropriate to comment on a specific case, but that the commission is "certainly aware of the serious issues that have been raised in the U.K."

He noted that the law requires that the FCC only grant broadcast licenses to people of "good character."

"If any issues arise, the commission has an obligation, we would take it very seriously, to look at the record, look at the facts and apply the law," Genachowski said.

A British parliamentary committee ruled earlier this month that News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch is "not fit" to run an international media company because of the phone hacking scandal.

News Corp. owns 27 Fox stations in the United States.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), chairman of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, wrote to the British committee probing the scandal earlier this month, requesting that it provide any evidence of whether News Corp. violated any U.S. laws.