The FCC Has Fined Nexstar $1.2 Million, A Move That Could Threaten Its Control Of The CW Flagship WPIX
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The FCC Has Fined Nexstar $1.2 Million, A Move That Could Threaten Its Control Of The CW Flagship WPIX

Today, the FCC ruled that the CW Affiliate in New York, NY WPIX was not really owned by Mission Broadcasting as Nexstar claimed but really owned by Nexstar. The FCC has ruled that this violated its ownership cap rules, resulting in Nexstar owning too many TV stations in the New York City area.

Because of this, the FCC has fined Nexstar $1.2 million and ordered it to sell the station or sell other stations to get back under the ownership cap for the New York City market.

In a statement sent to Cord Cutters News Comcast came out in support of this move by the FCC. “After a thorough examination, the FCC found that Nexstar is in clear violation of FCC rules and orders, and controls WPIX.  We’d like to thank the Commission for correctly attributing the ownership of WPIX to Nexstar and ending the fiction that the station was ever independent once Mission became its licensee.”

Nexstar has vowed to fight this ruling and hopes to get a court to over turn this fine and demand to sell the station. “We are extremely disappointed in today’s action by the Federal Communication Commission regarding our relationship with WPIX-TV and we intend to dispute it vigorously.  We believe the FCC has been misled by the often distracting noise in the media ecosphere and that it has completely misjudged the facts.  The facts are that Nexstar has always complied with FCC regulations and that its relationship with WPIX-TV under a Local Marketing Agreement (LMA) was approved by the FCC in 2020, when WPIX-TV was purchased by Mission Broadcasting, Inc.  Nexstar believes that joint operating, shared service, and local marketing agreements like those in which it is engaged are vitally important to maintain a competitive media marketplace and to enable broadcasters to continue investing in local news, investigative journalism, and other services that they uniquely provide to the communities in which they are located.” Nexstar said in a statement sent to Cord Cutters News.

Currently, the FCC caps one TV owner’s control of TV stations at 39%. The FCC argues that while Nexstar claims to have transferred control to Mission Broadcasting it really was still the true owner of the TV station putting it over the cap.

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