By Bob Cusack - 12/23/09 07:54 PM EST
Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) late last week expressed regret that the only VHF television station licensed in Delaware canceled the "one nightly public affairs program which covered Delaware issues."
In a floor speech, Kaufman, a former aide to now Vice President Joe Biden, noted that the station's local studio has been closed and it moved almost all of its employees out of Delware.
An accomplice in WHYY-TV's decision, Kaufman suggests, is the FCC.
"I think WHYY was emboldened to make these changes by the weakened oversight of the regulatory agency charged with making sure broadcast stations serve the public interest: the Federal Communications Commission."
Kaufman said WHYY is supposed to first serve the community in Delaware: "It is offensive and it is wrong. These and other actions led the city of Wimington, last week, to challenge the license renewal of WHYY."
The junior senator from Delaware called on the FCC to "reassert its role to insist that the licensees [who have free use] of the public's airwaves take their responsibilities to serve the public interests seriously."
If not, Kaufman warned, more stations will "take advantages of lax policies."