WASHINGTON (Aug. 12)
The license of the Kansas radio station which caused an uproar in 1982 with its racist and anti-Semitic broadcasts is being offered for sale.
According to the World Jewish Congress unit on the documentation of international anti-Semitism, the owner of the Dodge City radio station, KTTL-FM, is willing to relinquish it for $10,000 and give up the fight against the challenges to his license currently before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
At a hearing before the FCC, the attorney for Charles Babbs, owner of the radio station, said his client was willing to give up the license for cash to the Community Service Broadcasting, Inc., the citizens’ group which has been trying for three years to secure the license in place of the Dodge City station.
Controversy engulfed the station in 1982 and 1983 when it broadcast programs that were anti-Black and anti-Jewish. The sermons of James Wickstrom, a founder of Posse Comitatus, the rightwing extremist group, were among the broadcasts aired.
Babbs’ application for a broadcast license renewal in February 1983 was challenged by the community service group which filed a competing application. The group is expected to accept Babbs’ surprise settlement offer to give up his three-year fight to retain the license.
In 1985, the FCC refused to rescind the station’s license because of its programming which it said was protected by the First Amendment. However, it was reviewing whether the transfer of ownership to Babbs from his wife, whom he has since divorced, was illegal.
His wife was believed to have been behind the station’s racist programming, and Babbs has since sought to change its format. Babbs ceased broadcasting two months ago.