WGA Calls Out NJ Fox Station for Ditching Newscast, 7 Writers

Brent Lang
The Wrap
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WGA Calls Out NJ Fox Station for Ditching Newscast, 7 Writers

The Writers Guild of America, East has asked the FCC to review the broadcast license of a local New Jersey Fox affiliate station that laid off seven news writers after canceling its nightly newscast in favor of a tabloid show.

21st Century Fox-owned WWOR canceled its last remaining news show last week, which the guild said violates its legal obligation to provide local news coverage in exchange for holding a license to operate in the state. The company is replacing the nightly newscast with a tabloid-style show called "Chasing New Jersey," according to a report in the New York Times.

"We agree that WWOR is not serving the interests of the people of New Jersey as required by FCC rules," Writers Guild of America, East Executive Director Lowell Peterson said in a statement.  "The people of New Jersey deserve a television station that will honor its responsibility to provide thoughtful, professional coverage of the issues facing the state.  WWOR should add news programming, not chase it off the airwaves." 

The guild's statement comes on the heels of U.S. Senator Robert Menendez's (D-NJ) call this week for a review of 21st Century Fox's application to renew its license for WWOR.

A spokeswoman for 21st Century Fox did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The FCC has allowed WWOR to operate without a license since it expired in 2007. Its application to renew that license is scheduled to be reviewed soon, the Times reports.

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