MMTC: Proposed Studio Rules Hit Minority Stations Harder
May 19, 2008 at 7:48 AM (PT)
The MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL has filed Supplemental Comments in the FCC's localism proceeding, asserting that reverting to the FCC's pre-1987 main studio rule would disproportionately harm minority broadcasters because of their late entry into radio and thus could not easily assemble clusters of stations sharing the same community of license.
"Minority and ethnic broadcasters who entered the market later generally had to accept stations with weaker signals licensed to suburban communities," writes the MMTC. "Today’s non-minority broadcasters, including very early entrants and their descendants through mergers and acquisitions, typically maintain clusters of stations each licensed to the largest COL in a market. Minority and ethnic owners frequently have had to assemble clusters of stations licensed in several separate, suburban COLs." The MMTC uses the example of LOS ANGELES, where CLEAR CHANNEL would only need to establish two main studios for its nine-station cluster while LIBERMAN would need five studios for six stations.
The organization submitted a study by its statistician Dr. FREDERICK HOLT demonstrating that minority-owned and/or ethnically-programmed stations would have over 1/3 fewer stations per required studio.