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Tv Station to Fight Suit Seeking to Revoke Its License for Refusing to Show Program Called ‘the Pass

May 3, 1972
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The vice-president-general manager of WOR-TV continued today to decline substantive comment on the petition announced yesterday as having been filed with the Federal Communications Commission requesting removal of the station’s license for rejecting a program called “The Passover.”

Robert L. Glaser, explained to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the matter was in the hands of the station’s attorneys, who were giving it “active” attention. He was. however, willing to state: “No. we shouldn’t lose our license.” The licenses of all New York stations are due for renewal June 1.

“The Passover,” produced by the American Board of Missions to the Jews, has as its theme the Christian significance of the Jewish seder. It was offered to 11 other television stations, most or all of which also rejected It. WOR-TV, deluged by protests from the New York Board of Rabbis and other Jewish groups, decided last year not to “offend” them by airing the show. The Mission Board’s petition to the FCC called this “improper influence or pressure from outside sources.”

The Board also challenged WOR-TV’s position that the program proselytizes, pointing out that the station “carries at least two other programs which proselytize, Oral Roberts and Billy Graham.” Roberts is seen Sunday mornings, Dr, Graham twice a year. Glaser said he did not consider either evangelist a proselytizer.

Glaser also protested the Mission Board’s use, on its stationery, of Hebrew lettering and the name Beth Sar Shalom Hebrew-Christian Fellowship. He called this “a certain amount of deception” as it represents the Protestant group as a “genuine, bona fide Jewish” organization. WOR-TV and WOR-AM-FM Radio are licensed to RKO General.

Terryl Delaney, mass communications director of the 33-branch. 75-minister Mission Board, told the JTA that the petition was filed after months of negotiations with the station with “no apparent success.” He said the Board is “very much pro-Israel. both divinely and politically” and “obviously against anti-Semitism.” It has not. however, taken a public position on the dispensation of the administered Arab territories or on public aid to private schools or prayer on public schools. Delaney added.

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