Unfair and Lacking Balance Talk Radio?


A media watchdog group wants the FCC to yank the broadcast license of two Milwaukee radio stations that the group says has given an unfair amount of airtime to Republicans.

Conservative talk show hosts at WTMJ-AM and WISN-AM in Milwaukee regularly do lengthy interviews with just GOP office holders or candidates. Callers let on the talk shows overwhelmingly say they’re Republicans. To liberals, WTMJ has a nickname of being WGOP. The watchdog group, Media Action Center has filed petitions with the Federal Communications Commission to deny new licenses for the two stations.

Group spokesperson Randy Bryce says the stations violated a rule called the Zappel Doctrine during the 60 days leading up to the June recall election against Governor Scott Walker. Bryce says a proper remedy is more political balance on the two stations.

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The receptionist at WISN in Milwaukee said her program director would have no comment. The media giant Clear Channel owns WISN. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Journal Broadcast Group owns WTMJ. A vice-president at the company has so far declined comment, but at least three security guards at WTMJ watched the Media Action Center’s small news conference on the sidewalk outside the WTMJ Building. The FCC is due to rule on the license renewals for the two stations within a couple weeks.