The struggle between Boston Broadcasting, Inc. (BBI) and the Boston Herald Traveler, co-owner of WHDH-TV, for control of TV Channel Five, flared up again Tuesday when a Suffolk County grand jury indicted Nathan H. David, executive vice-president of BBI, on three counts of security violations.
David was accused of selling stock without being a registered agent, of violating a statute requiring the sellers of securities to file a "Notice of Intent to Sell" with the Department of Public Utilities, and of acting as a selling agent without disclosing the agency to the buyer.
In a prepared statement released Tuesday. David said: "There is no question in my mind that the indictment is the result of the efforts of the Herald Traveler-radio-FM-TV combine to discredit me in a final desperate attempt to prevent Boston Broadcasting, Inc. from commencing television operations on Channel 5 in Boston."
Harold E. Clancy, president of the Boston Herald Traveler Corp., replied by calling David's statement a "slur on the judicial processes of Massachusetts."
In January 1969 the Federal Communications Commission (PCC) denied WHDH's application to renew its license, awarding it to BBI instead. WHDH appealed the ruling, but it was upheld by the courts. On August 20, however, the FCC requested the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reopen the entire case, in view of the various federal civil suits against David and a ruling is still pending on this request.
It is unclear what effect these indictments will have on the battle for Channel 5, but Dr. John Knowies, Professor of Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital, who along with Oscar Handlin, Charles Warren Professor of American History are among the nine Harvard shareholders in BBI, said that BBI's lawyers "still believe the court's original decision will stick."