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Fox News: US watchdog wants the FCC to revoke the company's broadcasting licences


In an email sent to staff shortly after arriving at the London headquarters of News International on Friday, Rupert Murdoch said: “We will build on The Sun’s proud heritage by launching The Sun on Sunday very soon.”


Justin Sullivan

A US watchdog has demanded that the FCC revoke Fox News' 27 broadcasting licenses, in the wake of a highly critical report on the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's British tabloids, the Guardian reported

The request, filed by the Washington-based non-profit Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), comes on the heels of British lawmaker's declaration that News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch was unfit to run an international company.

More from GlobalPost: Rupert Murdoch goes on the offensive

"If they are not passing the character standard under British law, it seems to me that they are not going to meet the character standard in America," Melanie Sloane, the group's director, said in a letter to regulators, Slate reported

Sloane said she has also written to the US Senate and House committees on commerce demanding congressional hearings about Fox, which is owned by News Corp, and whether or not the Murdochs meet the appropriate character standards, the Daily Mail reported

In a statement Tuesday night, News Corp admitted that some of its executives had misled Britain's Parliament, but also called some of the report's findings "unjustified and highly partisan," according to the Daily Mail. 

More from GlobalPost: Rupert Murdoch 'not fit' to run international company, say British MPs

FCC regulations state that broadcast licenses should only be granted to companies run by people with "good character" who serve the "public interest" and speak with "candor," the Guardian reported. The FCC is entitled to look at owners' past conduct, including behavior that does not directly relate to their broadcasting interests, according to the Guardian. 

The FCC has so far kept its distance from the phone hacking scandal at News Corporation outlets in the United Kingdom, saying last July that it would not launch its own stateside probe, the Guardian reported.