WASHINGTON, D.C. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced in mid-November that it had approved Westinghouse Electric Corp.’s purchase of CBS, after rejecting Chairman Reed Hundt’s proposal that approval be linked to a commitment to provide children’s programming.
Under the proposal, Westinghouse’s Group W broadcasting subsidiary would have been obliged to require each of its stations to air a minimum of three hours of educational children’s programming each week as a condition for the renewal of Westinghouse’s broadcast licenses.
The New York Times reported that Hundt wanted to link the agency’s approval to a pledge that Westinghouse made in mid-September to carry more educational fare on its stations. However, FCC commissioners James Quello, Andrew Barrett, and Rachelle Chong maintained that approval of the merger would have nothing to do with the Westinghouse pledge.
The commissioners had also argued that Hundt’s “Kids TV” proposal would infringe upon the rights of broadcasters and subject them to unnecessary quotas, according to earlier reports by the Associated Press.
According to the FCC, the decision to approve the CBS sale to Westinghouse was based solely on the fact that the company possessed appropriate qualifications for a licensee. (FCC Report No. MM 95)