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FOX RESPONDS TO NBC'S FOREIGN OWNERSHIP CHALLENGE
Published December 6, 1994
Fox Broadcasting Chair Rupert Murdoch said that Fox "is considering filing challenges to NBC's TV station licenses in retaliation for NBC's legal attack on Fox's station ownership." Murdoch said that NBC could be challenged as unfit to hold broadcast licenses because several execs of NBC's parent company, G.E., have been indicted or convicted of felonies in connection to Pentagon contract scandals. Last week, NBC asked the FCC to rule on Fox's license to hold stations, given the fact that 99% of the capital Fox used to purchase its original six stations in '85 came from the Australian-based News Corp. NBC General Counsel Richard Cotton: "No amount of rhetoric can change the underlying fact that 99 percent of the Fox stations are owned by an Australian corporation" (Paul Farhi, WASHINGTON POST, 12/6). Murdoch: "If they want to slug it out with us, we'll slug it out with them. Two people can play hardball" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/6). More from Murdoch: "Nothing has changed since 1985, except that we got the NFL,and then we took a lot of CBS affiliates and then CBS went after a lot of NBC affiliates and that is causing NBC to spend a lot of money to keep its affiliates. NBC is using the system to bog us down and hold us up" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/6). U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT reports that when the FCC approved Murdoch's '85 acquisitions, the commission "failed to see through the tangled corporate and financial web woven by Murdoch and his attorneys" (Duffy & Cohen, U.S. NEWS, 12/12 issue). From an ELECTRONIC MEDIA editorial: "If the FCC says television stations are supposed to be majority owned by American entities, it should be easy enough to prove. Or correct" (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 12/5 issue).