FCC fines Nexstar $1.2M, WPIX-TV in New York at risk of loss.

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The Federal Communications Commission found that Nexstar Media Group’s acquisition of WPIX-TV in New York in 2020 violated federal ownership limits. As a result, the FCC ordered Mission Broadcasting, Nexstar’s partner in WPIX, to sell the station or for Nexstar to shed other stations in its portfolio to comply with ownership regulations. Additionally, Nexstar was fined $1.2 million for the unauthorized control transfer and exceeding the 39% cap on U.S. TV households.

Nexstar responded by expressing strong opposition to the FCC’s decision and vowed to dispute it vigorously. The company emphasized the importance of joint operating agreements like the one with WPIX in maintaining a competitive media marketplace and supporting local news and investigative journalism. However, Comcast filed a complaint regarding the ownership of WPIX, leading to the FCC’s ruling against Nexstar.

FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel emphasized the agency’s responsibility to enforce ownership regulations, citing concerns over companies exceeding the 39% national television audience threshold. Republican commissioner Brendan Carr raised issues with the FCC’s handling of the situation, urging careful consideration of prior decisions and appropriate remedies in response to the enforcement action.

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