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In Re Application of TIME-LIFE BROADCAST, INC. For Removal of License of

Station KOGO-TV, San Diego, Calif.


File No. BRCT-256




33 F.C.C.2d 1050




March 13, 1972 Released


 Adopted March 8, 1972 





 [*1050]  1.  The Commission has before its consideration: (1) the above captioned application for renewal of license for Station KOGO-TV, San Diego, California filed by Time-Life Broadcast, Inc. (licensee); (2) a Petition to Deny the application for renewal of license for KOGO-TV filed by the Chicano Federation of San Diego County, Inc. (petitioners); (3) an Opposition to the Petition to Deny filed by the licensee, and (4) a Reply to the Opposition filed by petitioners.

2.  Time-Life Broadcast, Inc. timely filed its application for renewal of license for KOGO-TV on September 2, 1971.  Thereafter, on November 1, 1971, the Chicano Federation of San Diego County, Inc. timely filed a Petition to Deny KOGO-TV's application for renewal of license (47 U.S.C. 309(d); 47 C.F.R. 1.580(i)).  Petitioners allege that a grant of KOGO-TV's application for renewal of license would be contrary to the Commission's statutory mandate, since the station has failed to serve the needs and interests of its service area, particularly those of Mexican-American origin.  Specifically, petitioners state that KOGO-TV failed to provide meaningful programming, including news and public affairs programming, failed to establish equal opportunities in employment, and failed to properly ascertain the needs and interests of the San Diego community.  Petitioners request that the Commission deny the grant of KOGO-TV's renewal application and thereafter designate the station for an evidentiary hearing.

3.  Petitioners predicate their standing as parties in interest on the grounds that the Chicano Federation of San Diego County is a nonprofit corporation composed of 35 Mexican-American groups representing a broad spectrum of views with significant community roots in the Spanish-speaking community of San Diego and that it coordinates the activities of its constituent organizations and provides leadership within the Chicano community.  The Petition to Deny is signed by Augustin Chavez as President of the Federation.  Licensee does not challenge petitioners' right to file their Petition to Deny and, accordingly, we find that petitioners' have standing to file their Petition.  [*1051]  Petitioners' allegations and licensee's responses are set forth in detail below.

KOGO-TV's news and public affairs programming/

4.  Petitioners allege that the public affairs programming broadcast by KOGO-TV from 1968 through 1971 does not appear to fulfill the community needs as ascertained by the station in its 1971 community survey.  Petitioners allege that the station's public affairs programming originates with the NBC network rather than in the community itself; that community problems are given a superficial treatment, and that the point of view of minority groups on issues is usually lacking.  According to petitioners, in-depth study and discussion of local issues is not part of the station's service.  Petitioners state:

KOGO in its license renewal application records few locally produced programs especially ones which deal with local problems.  Instead of discussing the problems of San Diego County youth, the station presented a network product, "This Child is Rated X," a discussion of juvenile justice and children's rights throughout the whole United States.  "You and the Law," a program series which is part of the "Ask Your Insight" series, is produced nationally and, instead of probing San Diego problems of justice and law enforcement, involves "significant guests" from various parts of the United States and Canada.

Petitioners further state that the list of past programming, attached to the station's application for renewal of license, does not include programs on unemployment, transportation, housing, or city and county government and that the station gives no evidence of using local people who are experts in local issues and problems but relies, instead, on national television personalities such as David Brinkley.  In addition, the station failed to include a local viewpoint in its treatment of issues and relied on those programs originating with the NBC network.  According to petitioners, the only program which dealt directly with minority groups -- "Manana is Today" was not produced locally and was not even repeated.  Specifically, petitioners state that agriculture is a major occupation in KOGO's service area but that the station has made a minimal effort to program in this area.  According to petitioners, the agricultural programs broadcast by KOGO are "canned programs produced by a U.S. Government agency and can not and do not discuss the significant agricultural problems of San Diego." Petitioners state that this programming does not deal with local labor organizations, local crops, available jobs and regional weather.

5.  With respect to KOGO-TV's news coverage, petitioners state that the station's local news reflects an "Anglo bias" due to the fact that the station fails to employ a sufficient number of Mexican-Americans.  Petitioners also state that KOGO-TV's public service announcements do not comport with local community needs due to the fact that "national handouts" are favored over locally originated material and Chicano community organizations are rarely represented in KOGO-TV's lists.  According to petitioners, there is no indication that the station has broadcast public service announcements concerning the problems of Chicanos as ascertained in KOGO-TV's community survey and no Chicano organizations are listed in the station's renewal application as having been invited to produce spot announcements.

 [*1052]  6.  Petitioners allege that an analysis of the station's composite week logs reveals that KOGO-TV has mislogged public affairs and public service announcements so as to overstate its public affairs programming.  Petitioners state that the station logged 13 promotional announcements for the National Association of Broadcasters or its "Code of Good Practices" as public service announcements and 12 promotional announcements produced by the NAB's Television Information Office as public service announcements when, in fact, these announcements were self-serving promotional announcements and not public service announcements.  According to petitioners, KOGO represented that 132 public service announcements had been broadcast by the station during the composite week but an analysis of the station's composite week log discloses that only 104 announcements were listed as PSA's and of these only 79 were public service announcements.  Petitioners allege that this misrepresentation "that KOGO programmed 67% more PSA's than shown by its own Composite Week Logs is a significant breach of the public trust." With respect to KOGO's public affairs programming, petitioners state that the station listed the following programs as public affairs.  "The Dolphins That Joined The Navy", a handout from the Navy; "It Couldn't Be Done", lives and works of famous photographers; "Orange Bowl Parade", a Florida based commercial promotion; "Kifaru -- The Black Rhinoceros", a story of the rhinoceros in East Africa; and, "It's a Grand Old a film designed for Marine recruiters.  Petitioners state that these programs are "propaganda handouts with little connection with the community needs identified by KOGO" and that the station did not broadcast programming concerning the Chicano, race relations, agriculture or employment.  In conclusion petitioners state:

Perhaps the most extraordinary classification is KOGO's description of "Rona Barrett Looks At Oscar" as a public affairs program.  The affairs publicized by this syndicated gossip columnist are personal in nature and do not meet the Commission's definition of talks, commentaries, discussions, speeches, editorials, political programs, documentaries, forums, panels, round tables, and similar programs primarily concerning local, national and international public affairs.  47 C.F.R. 73.112 (d) (1) (Note 1).

7.  In its Opposition, licensee states that KOGO has made special efforts to meet the needs of Mexican-Americans and the petitioners' claim that the station's news coverage reflects an Anglo bias is without basis.  Licensee states that KOGO-TV's renewal application demonstrates that KOGO-TV has, in fact, broadcast programming designed to cover minority interests and problems; that the renewal application describes a substantial amount of locally-produced programming, and that there was a very strong concentration on the critical local problems which persisted into 1971.  Licensee also states that petitioners charge incorrectly that KOGO-TV's past performance did not fulfill the community needs that were ascertained in the 1971 survey since the station lacked the "ability to know in 1967 what the needs would be in 1971." Licensee cites the following programming as illustrative of the efforts made by KOGO to program for the needs and interests of San Diego community, including Mexican-Americans, during the past renewal period:

 [*1053]  (a) "The Mexican Experience" -- a series of thirty-two hour-long college credit programs presented in cooperation with the San Diego Community College.  The series dealt with the Spanish-American civilization and included references to Mexican-American culture and a segment entitled "Mexican and Chicano Culture Today." The program was broadcast from February to June 1971 from 6:00-7:00 a.m.

(b) "Manana is Today" -- a one-half hour documentary dealing with problems of teaching English to Spanish-American children.  The program was carried twice in prime time, contrary to the allegation of petitioners, and was produced locally by KOGO-TV.

(c) "Ask Your -- Insight" -- this program utilized a number of formats.  For example, "You and the Law" was produced nationally but "Police and the People" was produced locally.  The programs dealt with police brutality, curfew laws, legal rights of minors and other problems concerning youth and law enforcement.  In addition, the program has frequently considered specific problems of the San Diego community in detail such as the health problems many Mexican-Americans faced due to the language problem and a program designed to help young people find summer employment.  In another program a representative of the EEOC answered telephone calls concerning the operations of this organization.  In still another program, the program was devoted to the "Teen Challenge" organization --

(d) "Safety-Man at Sea" -- a locally produced program in cooperation with the Coast Guard concerning the preservation of motor vessels and safety precautions at sea.

(e) Agricultural Programs -- in addition to its regular agricultural programs the station covered purely local farm news and weather in its news casts.  Topics covered were the UFWOC lettuce boycott, the arrival and meeting of Ceasar Chavez, the attempt to organize the tomato fields and the UFWOC's picketing due to the imprisonment of some of its members.  In addition, the station presents a detailed analysis of the weather at least three times per day and often covers developments affecting local crops such as the effects of frost on the avocado crop.

(f) "Interview with William Ruckelhaus, Chairman of the Environmental Protection Agency" -- locally produced and broadcast during prime time.  This, as well as two other "Insight" programs, were concerned with pollution problems and governmental action in the area.  The station also carried a series of special reports on auto pollution and news coverage of a variety of ecological problems.

Licensee states that a cursory review of Exhibits 9 and 17 of KOGO-TV's renewal application discloses that the station actually carried information on all of the major community problems reflected in the station's 1971 community survey.  Included in the station's editorials and special reports were programs dealing with the environment, campaign costs, correction facilities, the new airport, school problems, transportation, city and county government, housing and pollution.  Licensee states:

Rather than repeat each of these lengthy renewal exhibit materials in the instant pleading, we will incorporate them by reference.  It is sufficient to note that the Federation's characterization of the programming summarized in these exhibits does not reflect any awareness of what they contain.

8.  Licensee states that petitioners' allegation that the station used "national television personalities", rather than local experts, is completely unsupportable.  Licensee attaches a list of "individual experts" on local issues which appeared at the station during 1971.  In addition, licensee states that petitioners' allegation that KOGO has filed to include the "minority viewpoint" in its programming is without merit since it is a matter of "subjective opinion as to what the 'minority viewpoint' is on any particular subject." However, licensee states that its over-all programming, including its public affairs programming, disposes  [*1054]  of petitioners' contention that the problems of the minorities are not fully addressed.

9.  With respect to the station's public service announcements, licensee states that KOGO does not follow a policy in which "national handouts are favored over locally originated material", as alleged by petitioners.  According to licensee, the following PSA's were broadcast in the 1970 composite week:

Urban League

Stamp Out Crime


Council of Churches


Good Neighbors

Children's Hospital Fair

Scout Fair

Sheltered Workshop


200th Anniversary

United Community Services

Junior Achievement

San Diego Police

Home of Guiding Hands


Licensee further states that it cannot recall a single request from any primarily Chicano organization for public service time during the past three years which was not honored by the station and that the petitioners do not allege otherwise.

10.  With respect to petitioners' allegation that KOGO mislogged its public service announcements during the composite week, licensee states that this allegation is completely misplaced and derives in part from a misconstruction of the logs.  Licensee states that seven of the announcements pertaining to the "NAB Code" were not included in the station's composite week total and that the other six announcements logged as "NAB" were not for the National Association of Broadcasters but, rather, the National Alliance of Businessmen, advocating fair employment practices, and consequently were correctly logged as public service announcements.  Licensee further states that a significant number of PSA's were overlooked by petitioners and that an examination of KOGO-TV's composite week reveals that the station broadcast 129 PSA's instead of the 132 listed in the application for renewal of license.  This difference was apparently an error in addition and not an attempt to deliberately mislead the Commission.  With respect to petitioners' allegation that KOGO-TV overstated its public affairs programming, licensee concedes that programs such as, "Rona Barrett Looks At Oscar", "It Couldn't be Done", and the "Orange Bowl Parade" were erroneously referred to as public affairs but that this error does not affect the composite week figures.

11.  Licensee denies that its news coverage reflects an "Anglo bias", and states that petitioners have submitted no proof for this allegation.  Licensee states that, in addition to its daily newscasts, KOGO broadcasts a prime time news program entitled "Assignment." This program is locally originated and the participants are members of the station's news staff who provide an in-depth analysis of people and events that have made news during the past week.  Among the topics  [*1055]  discussed during 1970 and 1971 were the Commodity Food Program, which provides food for low income families, the new county budget, recent oil spills off the coast of San Diego and the continuing problems faced by tuna fishermen.  KOGO-TV also provided simultaneous translation of KOGO-TV news into Spanish for broadcast on KOGO-FM during the local news from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and the NBC news from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. According to licensee, despite the station's promotional efforts, recent rating for this program show that approximately 1% or less of the total listening audience listened to this broadcast.  Licensee states that this special news service, "... demonstrate Time-life Broadcast's genuine efforts to serve the Mexican-American community."

12.  In its Reply, petitioners state that a hearing is necessary to clarify and further investigate the factual issues raised by petitioners since nothing in licensee's Opposition show petitioners' allegations to be unfounded.  With respect to KOGO's public affairs programming, petitioners state that "The Mexican Experience", broadcast by KOGO, was merely a Mexican history course and did not deal with Mexican-American culture or problems and that KOGO's public affairs programming does not feature the Mexican-American perspective but concerns itself disproportionately to matters of little concern to many of the station's viewers.  In addition, petitioners state that a hearing is necessary to determine whether the station's overstatement of its public affairs programming and public service announcements was intentional and to what degree licensee engaged in this practice.  With respect to KOGO's agricultural programming, petitioners maintain that the station's treatment is inadequate and that "specialized agricultural programs dealing with the special needs of KOGO's listeners are required to adequately serve the public interest."

13.  We address ourselves first to petitioners contention that KOGO-TV has ignored local community needs in its past programming by superficially treating local problems, relying on NBC network programs and nationally distributed public service announcements, and broadcasting few locally produced programs which deal with local problems.  It is well established that each broadcast licensee has an obligation to serve his city of license by positive and continuing efforts to discover and fulfill the tastes, needs and desires of his service area.  (Commission En Banc Programming Inquiry, 25 Fed. Reg. 7291, 20 R.R. 1091 (1960)). Implicit in this obligation is the requirement that the licensee broadcast programming to meet the particular needs, interests and local community problems of his service area.  The licensee is given wide discretion in choosing the types of programming with which to treat various community problems subject to the requirement that he exercise good faith in his determination.  In addition, the Congressional scheme of TV allocations is based on the idea that television facilities should serve as local outlets for news and information.  (Sections 307(b) and 303(s) Communications Act of 1934, as amended; S. Rept. No. 1526, 87th Cong., 2nd Sess.; H. Rep. No. 1559, 87th Cong., 2nd Sess.) Hence, if a television station does not serve in a substantial manner as a local outlet but serves, instead, as a mere outlet for network programming or non-local films, it is not meeting its public interest obligations.  It follows from the above discussion  [*1056] that a licensee of a television facility who relies solely on network programming to meet the needs, interests and problems of his community would prima facie not be programming in the public interest since the needs and interests indigenous to his service area would be ignored.  However, this is not the case here.  Here, the licensee of KOGO-TV has demonstrated, to our satisfaction, that the station has covered local problems in its over-all programming through locally produced public affairs programming, public service announcements and its news programming.  Contrary to petitioners' assertions, KOGO-TV has not relied solely on network programming and national personalities in order to fulfill its public service obligations.  KOGO-TV has broadcast locally produced public affairs programming, agricultural news, in-depth news analyses, information programming and news programming which have utilized local personalities during the past license period.  (See paragraph 7, supra.) On the basis of the pleadings and KOGO-TV's application for renewal of license, we find that the station has not relied solely on the NBC network to satisfy its programming obligations but has made a good faith effort to provide local programs to meet the needs and interests of the San Diego community.

14.  Having decided that KOGO-TV did not rely solely on the NBC network as a source for its public affairs programming, we turn now to the adequacy of the station's past programming.  Petitioners allege that KOGO-TV failed to provide adequate programming to meet the needs and interests of its service area, including the needs and interests of the Mexican-American community.  We find that the licensee of KOGO-TV has submitted adequate information to rebut this allegation.  As previously discussed in paragraph 7, KOGO-TV has broadcast public affairs programming concerning local community problems, needs and interests such as "Ask Your... Insight", "Manana is Today", as well as in-depth news analyses of various topics of special interest to the San Antonio Community through its "Assignment" program.  In addition, through the series "The Mexican Experience" the station presented a historical study of Mexican-American culture and history with specific references to Mexican-American and Chicano cultures of today.  Many of the station's "Ask Your... Insight" and "Assignment" programs dealt with subjects pertaining to Mexican-American community.  KOGO-TV also carried numerous NBC network programs such as "The NBC News", "Meet the Press", "The Today Show", "First Tuesday" and NBC documentaries.  In its application for renewal of license, filed in 1968, the station listed the following topics as needs and interests which KOGO would attempt to cover during the period 1968 through 1971:

... civil rights, Mexican-American relations, oceanography, water needs, urban renewal, public housing, highway and traffic safety, governmental affairs, economic growth of the community, military affairs, community welfare, medicine, educational facilities and opportunities, law, religion, cultural development, transportation, natural resources, agriculture, youth activities, social and human relations, recreation, national and international affairs, port development, major league sports, scientific research and tourism.


An examination of KOGO's application for renewal of license and Opposition discloses that the station, through its public affairs, news  [*1057]  and news analyses, covered the above topics during the past renewal period.  We conclude, therefore, petitioners have failed to establish a prima facie case that KOGO-TV failed to serve the needs and interests of San Diego community during the past license period and, accordingly, petitioners request for a hearing on past programming will be denied.

15.  With respect to KOGO-TV's news coverage, petitioners allege that the station's news reflects an "Anglo bias" due to the fact that the station employs few Mexican-Americans.  This allegation is undocumented.  Section 309 of the Communications Act provides that where a petition to deny is filed, it must contain "... specific allegations of fact sufficient to show... that a grant of the application would be prima facie inconsistent with [the public interest]...". Petitioners' allegations concerning KOGO-TV's news coverage are conclusionary and general in nature and are not sufficient to require an evidentiary hearing.  In light of the fact that petitioners have failed to substantiate this allegation, petitioners' request for a hearing on this issue will be denied.

16.  Petitioners' final allegation concerns the station's alleged overstatement of its public affairs programming and public service announcements during the composite week.  According to petitioners, the station mislogged certain entertainment programs as public affairs and overstated the number of public service spot announcements broadcast during the composite week.  Licensee admits that certain entertainment programs were mistakenly logged as public affairs but denies that it overstated its public service spot announcements.  With respect to KOGO's mislogging of public affairs programs, petitioners do not allege, nor does it appear, that these programs were mislogged as a deliberate attempt to mislead the Commission.  In KOGO-TV's 1968 application for renewal of license, the station proposed 2.3% public affairs programming and 5.4% all other programming exclusive of Entertainment and Sports.  During the composite week for KOGO's 1971 application for renewal of license, licensee states that KOGO broadcast 3.65% public affairs and 5.16% other programming.  Thus, even if we were to discount the programs mislabeled as public affairs by the station, it does not appear that any question of promise versus performance would be raised.

17.  With respect to KOGO-TV's overstatement of its public service spot announcements, it does not appear, from the information before us, that the licensee attempted to mislead the Commission regarding the number of announcements actually broadcast by the station during the composite week.  Instead, it appears that the licensee and petitioners are in disagreement as to what broadcast matter does or does not constitute proper subject matter for public service spot announcements.  Without entering into a lengthy discussion as to what constitutes public service announcements, even if we were to find that KOGO-TV did, in fact, mislog or misclassify some of its public service announcements, we do not think that this would constitute a "substantial question of fact" to warrant an evidentiary hearing.  n1 Based upon our evaluation of this case we do not find any evidence of bad faith.  We  [*1058]  also note that, even if we were to disregard the announcements that may have been misclassified, licensee still exceeded the number of such announcements proposed in its 1968 renewal application for KOGO-TV.  n2 In addition, petitioners have not demonstrated that KOGO-TV refused time to any Mexican-American group for public service announcements or that the station has acted in a discriminatory manner in rejecting requests to broadcast public service announcements.  Accordingly, petitioners' request for a hearing on this issue will be denied. 

n1 See In Re Application of Scripps-Howard Broadcasting Co.  For Renewal of License of Station WMC-TV, 31 FCC 2d 1090 at 1104, 1105 (1971).

n2 In its 1968 application for renewal of license for KOGO-TV, licensee proposed a minimum of 75 public service announcements during a typical week.  According to licensee, the station broadcast 129 such announcements during the composite week.


18.  Petitioners allege that KOGO-TV employs a total of 156 people of which 4 or 2.5% are Spanish-surnamed, 7 or 4.5% are Black and 2 or 1.2% are Oriental; that the Mexican-American population of San Diego is 18%; and that such a nominal representation of Mexican-Americans establishes prima facie that the station has not made adequate efforts to establish equal employment opportunities.  Petitioners also allege that management positions are held by Anglo males, that KOGO has one Chicano in its technical and professional categories plus two clerical workers, and that the working conditions at the station are so hostile to Black and Chicanos that they are unable to work there.  According to petitioners, KOGO-TV's "Equal Employment Opportunity Program" was not adopted until March 20 of this year and does not indicate substantial changes in policy from the past.  Petitioners further allege that the station imported a trainee from Hampton, Virginia and that this arrangement insures that the trainees will have no contacts with minorities in San Diego.  In addition, petitioners allege that only 2 of the 5 trainees listed by KOGO-TV are of minority background.

19.  In its Opposition, licensee states that the employee figures cited by petitioners are no longer current and that as of September 23, 1971, KOGO-TV employs a total of 153 full-time and part-time employees of which 7 were Black (5%) and ten were Spanish-surnamed employees (7%).  Licensee states:

The prima facie argument is logically and legally unsound.  From a logical standpoint it is not coherent to suggest that the only explanation for less than proportionate racial or ethnic representation in employment is an adequate effort to establish and enforce policies of equal employment opportunities.  The educational and other circumstances affecting employment patterns in the United States today are far more complex than the Federation's argument acknowledges.  The Commission has rejected such an arbitrary approach, stating that it does not require employment of minority members in direct proportion to the minorities' ratios in the community at large.  Universal Communications Corp., 27 FCC 2d 1022, 1025, 21 R.R. 2d 359, 367 (1971).

Licensee cites the following as illustrative of the station's efforts to assure nondiscrimination in employment:

(a) KOGO-TV has participated in the "Job Fair" and "Summer Jobs For Youth" since 1969.  The station has hired two students from disadvantaged families for summer work and two have become full-time employees of the station.

(b) Meetings with local organizations including the Urban League and San  [*1059]  Diego Jobs for Progress on the subject of minority hiring and training.  These meetings led to formal on-the-job training programs.

(c) KOGO has arranged to contact minority oriented organizations when job openings occur.  The station attached a list of such organizations to its renewal application.  Minority members were hired during the past license period as an Educational Research Writer, engineer technician, staff artists and interpreters for the KOGO Spanish language simulcast.

20.  In addition, the station submitted a comprehensive equal employment opportunity program as part of its renewal application, wherein KOGO describes the steps it has taken and will continue to take to assure equal employment opportunities.  With respect to the station's hiring of an individual from Hampton, Virginia, licensee states that KOGO has an arrangement with Hampton Institute, a Negro educational institution, which provides on-the-job training for Black students.  According to licensee, this arrangement with Hampton Institute has included the donation of equipment to the school.  In conclusion, licensee denies that KOGO holds the influence of Chicano employees "to a minimum" or that conditions of employment at KOGO are "so hostile to Blacks and Chicanos" that many find themselves "unable to work there".  Licensee states that such allegations are unsupported by petitioners and untrue.

21.  Our Rules concerning equal employment opportunities (73.125, 73.301 and 73.680) and the reporting requirements were designed and adopted to eliminate the barriers to equal employment opportunities by requiring each licensee to eliminate discriminatory practices in employment and to establish an affirmative program of nondiscrimination in recruitment, hiring and promotion.  In order to challenge a station's equal employment program or show noncompliance with the Commission's Rules, a petitioner for complainant must demonstrate with some degree of specificity that the licensee's program in some way prevents equal employment opportunities or that the licensee discriminates in employment.  The best evidence of such discrimination or noncompliance would be specific examples of persons who were discriminated against by the licensee because of race, religion, color, national origin or sex.  We have held in the past that we do not require the employment of minority members in direct proportion to that minority groups proportional strength in the community.  ( Universal Communications Corporation, Station WALA, 27 FCC 2d 1022 (1971)). In the case before us, the licensee of KOGO-TV has demonstrated, to our satisfaction, that it is in compliance with the Commission's equal employment opportunity requirements.  Licensee has submitted a comprehensive equal employment opportunity program, cited specific examples of the station's efforts to assure nondiscrimination in employment and rebutted each of petitioners' allegations.  Petitioners base their allegation of noncompliance with the equal employment opportunity Rules on the fact that KOGO-TV employs only 4 Spanish-surnamed persons which is 2.5% of the station's total staff, while the Mexican-American population of San Diego is 18% of the total population.  We do not believe that this fact, standing alone warrants an evidentiary hearing into KOGO-TV's employment practices and, accordingly, petitioners' request for a hearing on this issue will be denied.


22.  Petitioners allege that KOGO-TV's survey of the needs and interests of the San Diego community is deficient in that the station ignored significant portions of the population and employed insufficient survey techniques.  Petitioners allege that San Diego is known for its diversity since it combines urban suburban and rural residents and includes people of various age groups from diverse political, economic, social and ethnic backgrounds.  Petitioners further allege that the station's survey was deficient in that the following groups were ignored:

(a) The survey pays little attention to agriculture while San Diego is in the top 20 counties in the United States in agricultural production.  No effort is made to treat agricultural workers as a special group with unique needs and interests.

(b) The station did no consider older people as a special community group with special needs and interests.

(c) KOGO did not attempt to consider young people residing in the San Diego area as a special interest group despite the fact that the median age of San Diego residents is approximately 26.

(d) No attempt was made to ascertain the needs and interests of Mexican people, although the station's coverage area includes large areas of Mexico.

23.  Petitioners also allege that a number of KOGO's ascertainment techniques serve to reinforce the unbalance of its service, such as material coming into its newsroom and public affairs department, the station's full-time Editorial Research Specialist who seeks out topics worthy of editorials and documentaries, and the station's Washington News Bureau.  According to petitioners, these techniques do not really search out stories or topics of particular interest to Mexican-Americans.  Petitioners further allege that the involvement of the KOGO staff and management in community organizations "is not a reliable method of ascertainment when the staff does not fairly represent the community." Petitioners state that staff members join various community groups for personal rather than professional reasons and that it is highly unlikely that any KOGO staff member has joined any community group for th express purpose of determining community needs and interests.  Petitioners state:

The racial make-up of the organizations KOGO staff join has already been shown to be overwhelmingly Anglo; it is difficult to imagine how information about minority groups can be acquired from them.  In addition, the primary responsibility for ascertainment rests with station executives or principals.  All eleven of KOGO's top management are Anglo.

With respect to KOGO's survey of the general public, petitioners allege that the survey was conducted by Economic Behavior Analysts, Inc., a group which included two members who spoke Spanish.  According to petitioners, "whether these two team members were able to relate well enough to San Diego's Spanish-speaking community to obtain a comprehensive and deep understanding of their needs and interests is open to question."

24.  Licenses states that KOGO-TV personally contacted a total of 214 community leaders to ascertain their views concerning local community problems and needs, including the following:



State officials


supervisors of San Diego County


officials of incorporated cities


administrative officials of the City and County of San Diego


leaders representing unincorporated areas of San Diego County


representatives of the press


law enforcement officials


labor and management officials


union representatives


representatives of the military establishment


representatives of the community


representatives of the financial groups


aerospace representatives


officials of the Port of San Diego


representatives of agricultural interests


representatives of the tourist industry


individuals active in cultural affairs


sports leaders


representatives of the public utilities


educational leaders


leaders in the field of religion


leaders in youth activities


community service leaders


representatives of organizations primarily concerned with minority



 [*1061]  25.  According to the licensee, the station contacted Robert Pankey, a citrus and avocado grower; Paul Lull of the San Diego Poultry Association and Paul Ecke, a poinsettia grower, with respect to agricultural matters.  The station contacted Mrs. Evelyn Herrmann, Director, Senior Citizens, City Recreation Department, and Mr. Aryln B. Carr, District Manager, U.S. Department of Social Security, concerning the problems of older persons.  In addition, the station contacted ten representatives of youth interests including three members of the Balck Student Council or Black Student Union, and Presidents of the Movimiento Estudantie Chicano pro Aztlan at Southwestern and Mesa Colleges concerning the problems of youth.  Licensee states that surveys were not conducted in Mexico since the Commission does not require broadcasters to survey the needs of foreign countries.

26.  With respect to KOGO-TV's methods of assuring continual contracts with the community, licensee states that petitioners' allegations are totally immaterial.  These methods, such as participation in various community organizations and the use of a full-time Editorial Research Specialist, merely serve to supplement the formal ascertainment process.  Licensee denies that these methods serve as a means of reinforcing the unbalance of its service and points out that many of the stories from the station's Washington News Bureau have a direct and important value to minorities.  Concerning KOGO-TV's random sample of the San Diego community, the station conducted 400 personal interviews with a random sample of the community and included a special tabulation of 15 additional interviews with Mexican-Americans.

27.  Our Primer on Ascertainment of Community Problems, 27 FCC 2d 650 (1971), requires that each broadcast applicant ascertain the community problems of his service area by means of consultations with leaders of significant groups in the community as well as consultations with members of the general public.  In order to comply with the Primer, KOGO-TV management personally consulted with 214 community leaders to ascertain their views concerning local community problems and personally consulted with 400 members of the general public, on a random basis, to compile its random sample of the San  [*1062]  Diego community.  After reviewing KOGO-TV community leaders survey and random sample of the general public, we are convinced that these surveys comply fully with the requirements of the Primer.  Petitioners' principle objection to KOGO-TV's community leader survey is that KOGO failed to ascertain the needs and interests of all the significant groups within San Diego, specifically the young, the elderly and agricultural interests.  Licensee, in its Opposition and renewal application, has demonstrated that leaders from each group mentioned by petitioners were, in fact, consulted in connection with the station's community leader survey.  In addition, there is no requirement in the Primer, or elsewhere, that broadcast licensees must consult with residents of foreign countries regarding their needs, interests or problems.  We disagree with petitioners' allegation that KOGO-TV's ascertainment techniques, such as the station's Washington News Bureau and the involvement by KOGO-TV staff members in community organizations, serve to reinforce the unbalance of the station's service to minority interests.  Time-Life's efforts to maintain continual contacts with members of its service area during the past license period, through participation by staff members in community organizations and local seminars and talks, fulfill, in part, its obligation to employ diligent, positive and continuing efforts to discover and fulfill the tastes, needs and desires of the San Diego community.  These efforts, together with KOGO-TV's formal survey of community problems, demonstrate that the licensee of KOGO-TV is fulfilling its ascertainment obligations as set forth in the Primer and the Commission's 1960 En Banc Programming Inquiry, 25 Fed. Reg. 7291, 20 R.R. 1901 (1960). Accordingly, petitioners' request for a hearing on KOGO-TV's survey will be denied.


28.  Petitioners allege that KOGO-TV does not maintain sufficient ties to the Chicano community of San Diego and that, as a result, many aspects of the station's service are deficient.  Petitioners attach seven affidavits to their Petition, signed by alleged Mexican-American community leaders, which state, in effect, that KOGO-TV does not maintain close ties with these leaders, that they have not been contacted by members of KOGO-TV's staff and that, consequently, the station has not served the needs and interests of the Chicano community.  Petitioners also attach twelve affidavits, signed by members of the Chicano community, which state, in effect, that KOGO-TV "fails to provide adequate and fair coverage of relevant events and issues to minority group citizens of San Diego County." Petitioners attached an affidavit signed by Gilbert Robledo wherein Robledo states that he was a candidate for Mayor and his campaign was completely ignored by station KOGO-TV:, that KOGO-TV, in the past, has exploited the negative stereotyping of the Mexican-American in its advertising; and that the station provides no coverage of the Mexican-American Community in a systematic way.  In addition, Robledo states that KOGO-TV approaches Mexican-American candidates for public office with a concern for Mexican-American issues alone and not broad issues which affect the community as a whole such as welfare, narcotics and professional entertainment in San Diego.

 [*1063]  29.  With respect to the allegation that KOGO-TV does not have sufficient ties to the Mexican-American community, licensee states that the opinions of seven persons, expressed in general terms, do not provide evidentiary support for the over-all conclusions drawn by the petitioners.  Licensee states:

Whether "close ties" have been sustained in particular cases is perhaps subject to some interpretation; but accepting the view that they are not, there is not any requirement in logic or in law that KOGO-TV single out these particular individuals for the ascertainment of needs and interests in the Chicano community.

Regarding petitioners allegation that the station provides deficient service to the Mexican-American community, licensee states that this is "manifestly a value judgment" and is not fact.  According to licensee, the fact that twelve persons have signed identical statements that they share this opinion does not change the opinion into fact.  Licensee states that the persons who expressed these opinions are not familiar with the station's application for renewal of license or the station's broadcasting policies and programs.

30.  Concerning the allegations of Gilbert Robledo, licensee states that Robledo has not alleged that KOGO-TV has violated Section 315 of the Communications Act or the Fairness Doctrine and that his claims are seriously misinformed and mistaken.  Licensee states:

His candidacy was covered on KOGO-TV news stories.  Our review of the coverage given to individual candidates indicates that Mr. Robledo (who obtained approximately 1.8% of the vote cast in the election) received more coverage on KOGO-TV news programs than 5 of the other 13 candidates running for Mayor in the primary.  All of these five are Anglo.  As this fact clearly indicates, news judgments regarding news coverage of the candidates were not in any sense influenced by ethnic considerations.  All of the candidates, including Robledo, were given free time to appear on KOGO-TV's "Political Rally" program which was televised on September 15, 1971.  Mr. Robledo was on that program.

Licensee further states that most of the critical problems of the community transcend racial, ethnic and religious lines and that treating community problems as affecting all segments of the community has been one of the keystones of KOGO-TV's operations.  Thus, Robledo's assertion that KOGO-TV approaches Mexican-American candidates with a concern for Mexican-American issues alone is unfounded.  Licensee states:

But the whole thrust of the Federation's petition is predicated on a different, unreal, assumption; i.e., that Chicano needs, news, public affairs, contacts, etc. can be readily differentiated from KOGO-TV's over-all broadcast service.  Mr. Robledo's far more realistic assessment of community needs and Chicano interests therein contradicts the assumptions that form the basis of the Petition to Deny.

31.  We agree with the licensee of KOGO-TV that the affidavits submitted by petitioners are the opinion of the 19 persons who signed them and provide no factual basis to prove that KOGO-TV does not have sufficient contact with the Chicano community or that KOGO-TV has failed to provide adequate coverage of the Chicano community in its programming.  In addition, the fact that the seven alleged community leaders were not contacted by KOGO-TV does not prove that the station failed to adequately survey the needs and interests of the Mexican-American community.  We have held that it is a matter of  [*1064]  licensee discretion to determine community leaders and such discretion will not be upset absent a showing of abuse.  Miners Broadcasting Service, Inc., 20 FCC 2d 1061 (1970). We have determined that KOGO-TV's community leader survey complies fully with our requirements in this area and the fact that the station failed to consult with several alleged community leaders does not persuade us to alter this decision.

32.  After reviewing Mr. Robledo's affidavit, we agree with the licensee that Robledo has not alleged nor has he demonstrated that KOGO-TV violated either Section 315 of the Communications Act or the Fairness Doctrine with respect to the station's coverage of his mayoralty campaign.  KOGO-TV has rebutted Robledo's allegation that the station completely ignored his campaign for Mayor.  A broadcast licensee is under no obligation to cover each and every press conference or meeting held by a candidate for public office.  The decision by the licensee as to what events the station will cover is a matter left to the news judgment of the licensee.  The Commission will not interfere with the licensee's news judgment unless it can be shown that the licensee violated Section 315 of the Communications Act or the Fairness Doctrine.  Petitioners have made no such showing here.  Accordingly, no further action is warranted with respect to Robledo's affidavit.

33.  In light of the above, we find that petitioners have failed to establish a prima facie case that a grant of KOGO-TV's application for renewal of license would be contrary to the public interest, convenience and necessity.  Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, That the "Petition to Deny License Renewal" filed November 1, 1971 by the Chicano Federation of San Diego County IS DENIED.

34.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the public interest, convenience and necessity would be served by a grant of the application of Time-Life Broadcast, Inc's application for renewal of license of Station KOGO-TV and such application is hereby GRANTED.

35.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, That the Secretary of the Commission send a copy of this Memorandum Opinion and Order by Certified Mail -- Return Receipt Requested to the parties to this proceeding.



For dissenting statement of Commissioner Johnson see FCC 72-222.

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