Sat Merger Under Fire From Black Lawmakers
June 17, 2008 at 12:18 PM (PT)
Senior members of the Congressional Black Caucus yesterday criticized a compromise plan for the proposed merger of the XM and SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO companies, saying the deal does not provide enough opportunities for minority-owned programming, writes THE WASHINGTON POST.
FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN said over the weekend that he would support the merger after XM and SIRIUS voluntarily agreed, among a series of other concessions, to lease 4% of their radio spectrums, or 12 channels, for programming run by minorities and women.
Members of the black caucus on Capitol Hill have been arguing for the merged company to lease five times that amount of spectrum to companies owned by minorities. Short of that, caucus members have warned in letters to the commission and meetings with MARTIN, they would oppose the merger.
In an interview yesterday, Rep. G.K. BUTTERFIELD (D-N.C.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus's working group on satellite radio, called MARTIN's proposed compromise "completely unacceptable." He said he and other members of the group planned to express their dissatisfaction to top executives of XM and SIRIUS.