Sunday, February 1, 2015

Karen Brown files 'equal time' complaint against NBC10

Karen Brown, the Republican nominee for mayor, is back at war with NBC10 over a live "town hall meeting" the station hosted with Mayor Nutter last week. She just had her attorney, Republican Matt Wolfe, file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against NBC10.

Karen Brown files 'equal time' complaint against NBC10

Brown
Brown

Karen Brown, the Republican nominee for mayor, is back at war with NBC10 over a live "town hall meeting" the station hosted with Mayor Nutter last week. She just had her attorney, Republican Matt Wolfe, file a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission against NBC10.

Brown insisted last week that she deserved to participate in Nutter's town hall program, citing a federal law on how stations should provide equal time to political candidates.  She protested outside during the event but stopped when NBC10 promised to provide her with some air time.

Brown and Wolfe were not impressed with what NBC10 then offered on Friday -- an appearance on the @Issue program that airs on Sunday mornings.  Wolfe, in a complaint he filed today to the Federal Communications Commission, said he had asked the station to give Brown air time "substantially similar" to what Nutter had -- a half-hour broadcast starting at 7 pm on a weekday.  Wolfe said Chris Blackman, vice president for news at NBC10, said that would be "inappropriate."

Wolfe noted that Brown appeared on the @Issue program before the primary election with her opponent and was told that if she became the GOP nominee she and Nutter would appear on the program before the Nov. 8 general election.

Wolfe said NBC10 promised to get back in touch by Monday morning to discuss the matter but Brown has not heard anything since then.

UPDATE, 3:10 pm: NBC10 spokeswoman Kathleen Burke just emailed this response on Brown's FCC complaint: "Frankly, we're surprised by this action as we've spoken with Karen Brown's campaign about various options for air time that has comparable viewership. Details are still being worked out, and we're confident that we'll be able to reach a satisfactory resolution."

UPDATE, 3:40 pm: Karen Brown's attorney, Matt Wolfe, said he has spoken with NBC10 and the two sides are negotiating again.  Wolfe said the station has changed its offer from an @Issue appearance. "I think they're acting in good faith," he said.

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William Bender, a Drexel graduate who landed at the Daily News in 2007, has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He occasionally writes about local food trucks and always eats everything on his plate, whether it be a bloody rib eye or a corrupt politician. E-mail tips to benderw@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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David Gambacorta, has been a reporter with the Daily News since 2005, covering crime, police corruption and all of the other bizarre things that happen in Philadelphia. Now he’s covering the 2015 mayor’s race, because he enjoys a good circus just as much as the next guy. He’s always looking to get a cup of coffee. Send news tips and other musings on life to gambacd@phillynews.com
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