Radio Still a Man’s Game
     

White males controlled most of the voting rights in commercial radio in 2013, according to the FCC’s just-released report that breaks out ownership data.

Women collectively or individually held a majority of the voting interests in 310 commercial AM radio stations (8.3%) of 3,737 stations; and 383 commercial FM radio stations (6.7%) of 5,714 stations. That compares with 300 (7.8%) of 3,830 AM radio stations in 2011. Men, by contrast, held most of the voting interests in 2,737 commercial AM radio stations (73.2%) of 3,737 stations; and 4,226 commercial FM radio stations (74%) of 5,714 stations. Men owned 2,841 stations (74.2%) in 2011.

With the data broken out by ethnicity, minorities collectively or individually held a majority of the voting interests in 225 commercial AM radio stations (6%) of 3,737 stations; and 169 commercial FM radio stations (3%) of 5,714 stations. Minorities owned 237 stations (6.2%) in 2011. By contrast, whites collectively or individually held most of the voting interests in 2,893 commercial AM radio stations (77.4%) of 3,737 stations; and 4,570 commercial FM radio stations (80%) of 5,714 stations.

The information is part of a commercial station ownership report that gives ownership details by race, ethnicity and gender of radio, TV, Class A TV and low-power television stations. The agency characterizes the release as the latest step in its ongoing efforts to collect and disperse information about minority and women-owned stations.

The report is accurate as of Oct. 1, 2013.

At the spring NAB show, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn expressed concern about how old the agency’s ownership data is, backing up Chairman Tom Wheeler’s decision to fold the 2010 quadrennial ownership review into the 2014 review. The commission says it’s trying to get more reliable and accurate data and anticipates these periodic reports will provide “snapshots” of minority and female station ownership.

Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O’Reilly have said it’s beyond time when the agency should have updated its media ownership rules and the delay now means that won’t happen until mid-2016 at the earliest.

The report is part of the commission’s media ownership review.

The FCC is now extending the comment deadlines for the review; responding to a request from the Coalition for Smaller Market Television Stations. The previous deadlines were July 7 for initial comments and Aug. 4 for replies. The commission agreed, and granted a 30-day extension for filing comments and a 35-day extension for replies.

The new filing deadlines are Aug. 6 for comments and Sept. 8 for replies (MB Dockets 14-40, 09-182 and 07-294.)

 


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