McDowell, Copps Speak At Rainbow PUSH Symposium
November 23, 2009 at 5:03 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL told the annual RAINBOW PUSH COALITION AND CITIZENSHIP EDUCATION FUND Media and Telecommunications Symposium FRIDAY (11/20) that ownership diversity depends on access to capital.
"It is important that none of us loses sight of the pragmatic realities that surround the ownership issue," MCDOWELL said. "To boil it down, if you want to own something, somehow you have to find the money to buy or build it. This isn’t a matter of 'blue' AMERICA versus 'red' AMERICA. It’s not about focusing on the differences among black, white or brown AMERICA. Instead, we should focus on the color that can unify us all, the color that can empower small entrepreneurs to change a dream into a reality. And that color is the color green."
MCDOWELL reiterated his call for a reinstatement of the Commission's tax certificate program but warned that proposals to increase diversity in broadcast ownership and related issues could trigger the "law of unintended consequences," such as localism proposals mandating live operation around the clock that he said would unduly burden minority-owned, small stations.
Commissioner MICHAEL COPPS also spoke to the symposium, calling once again for "seizing the moment" to change FCC rules and reiterating his criticism of the present "slam-dunk" licensing system. "There is no reason on God’s green earth why the Commission shouldn’t go back to having some guidelines to make sure stations are consulting with their audiences on what kinds of programming people would like to see and that news and information aren’t the first thing to go on the chopping block when ownership changes hands," COPPS said.