MMTC Demands FCC Rectify 'Woeful' Minority, Female Ownership Numbers
December 27, 2012 at 7:51 AM (PT)
THE MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL, speaking as part of the Diversity and Competition Supporters, took the FCC to task for a report that cited a persistent underrepresentation of minority and woman owners of TV and radio properties. They demanded more aggressive actions to rectify the station.
"The DCS remains appalled at the persistently low numbers of minority and women commercial broadcast stations and station owners," the MMTC wrote. "According to the Report, racial and
ethnic minorities own a majority interest in 8% or 756 of the nation’s commercial radio
stations, while women own less than 7% of these stations."
"The Report indicates that from 2009 to 2011, diverse ownership has not materially improved. The meager steps the COMMISSION has taken to cure minority and women under-representation in the broadcasting industry are woefully inadequate. Form 323 data presented in the Report serves as a glaring reminder that the COMMISSION must act now to promulgate rules and policies that will foster substantial increases in the numbers of women and minorities owning broadcast stations.
"As the Report indicates, diverse broadcast ownership is at risk for extinction. However,
the COMMISSION is not without tools to remedy the situation. The COMMISSION might ultimately deem it necessary to implement race and gender-specific policies to remedy such a dire situation."
Possible solutions include:
* Adopting NABOB’s 1990 Incubator Initiative Proposal.
* Relaxing The Broadcast Foreign Ownership Restrictions
* Migrating AM Radio To VHF Channels 5 and 6.
* Encouraging Congress To Reinstate And Update The Tax Certificate Policy.
"The sobering data in the Report should serve as a clarion call to the COMMISSION that it
can no longer wait to take affirmative steps to increase broadcast industry diversity," THE MMTC concludes. "It must implement any necessary rules and policies to remove barriers for minorities and women entrepreneurs confront in their attempts to secure and grow footholds in broadcast ownership. These rules and policies will ensure that the nation’s broadcast stations serve the unique needs of minority and women consumers and provide diverse viewpoints and information to all consumers. Forty-seven proposals are pending before it, thanks to the dedication of several stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to make our communications industry more inclusive. DCS members reiterate their steadfast commitment to working with the COMMISSION to ensure that our communications industries truly serve the public interest and reflect the rich diversity of our nation."