Wednesday, May 1, 2002

Emmis wants both
local TV stations

Star-Bulletin staff

Emmis Communications Corp. wants to keep both KHON-TV and KGMB-TV in Honolulu, at least until controversy over federal rules governing station ownership is resolved.

In its response to a March 28 letter from the Federal Communications Commission, Emmis stated its intention to file a formal request for a stay from FCC rules prohibiting companies from owning two top-rated TV stations in the same market, pending a court-ordered review of those and other rules. As directed by the FCC's letter, Emmis also outlined steps it had taken to sell one station since its September 2000 purchase of 15 television station licenses from Iowa-based Lee Enterprises Inc. The company has continued to operate both Honolulu stations through repeated waivers granted by the FCC.

Emmis' new request for a stay of the rules follows two rulings from a federal court.

In separate matters earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia took the FCC to task for maintaining what it called "arbitrary and capricious" rules in one case and remanded the so-called "duopoly rule" to the commission for further review in another.

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