Media Notes

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Two Groups Seek to Block Westinghouse Purchase of CBS The planned sale of CBS is coming under attack by two groups contending that buyer Westinghouse has done a poor job airing children's programs. The United Church of Christ and the Center for Media Education have asked the Federal Communications Commission to block the sale. The challenge could delay the sale and make the deal vulnerable to a competing bid. Westinghouse spokesman Gil Schwartz defended the company's record: "We find it somewhat ironic that children's programming is the basis of the challenge against Westinghouse and CBS, since we believe our historic commitments place us at the top of the industry," he said. CBS declined comment. Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Media Education, said the groups want the FCC to develop a "social contract" between Westinghouse and the public that would require the company to air more programs to meet the educational needs of children and to provide more air time for political candidates. By law, TV broadcasters are required to put on programs that serve the educational and information needs of children. Westinghouse and CBS officials said they comply with those obligations and are not aware of any complaints against them at the FCC involving programming for children. Judge Ito fines AP photographer JUDGE LANCE ITO fined an Associated Press photographer $250 for taking a test picture in court before the O. …