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New NAB Committee Will Address Diversity and Inclusion

The advisory group will provide insights and recommendations on ways to advance equity in broadcasting

A new advisory committee created by the National Association of Broadcasters is planning to analyze and tackle issues of diversity, equity and inclusion within the broadcast industry.

The new committee will report to the NAB Board of Directors and will consist of senior-level broadcasters including women, people of color and board members from NAB and the NAB Leadership Foundation (NABLF) who are focused on advancing issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in broadcasting.

[Read: Community Broadcaster: Diversity Was Radio’s Story of the Year]

“NAB is committed to ensuring diverse voices are represented in radio and television broadcasting and that every employee has the opportunity to excel in their career,” said NABLF President and NAB Chief Diversity Officer Michelle Duke when announcing the creation of the DEI Advisory Committee. “This new committee will help NAB continue moving diversity and equity forward, and provide guidance for the broadcast community in creating a more inclusive workplace.”

This isn’t the association’s first foray into inclusivity. Last summer the Leadership Foundation created a website called the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Resource Center focused on helping media companies construct and maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace. The NAB is also advocating for congressional support of a tax certificate program that would provide a financial incentive to those who sell their majority in a radio or TV station to minority owners.

Among the committee’s first steps will be an overall assessment of the broadcast radio and television industries’ diversity and inclusion efforts. From there the DEI Advisory Committee will advise NAB and NABLF boards on strategies, initiatives and partnerships to increase the effectiveness of inclusion efforts, the NAB said. The committee will also support NAB staff advocacy efforts at both the Federal Communications Commission and in Congress as well as identify a diverse group of industry experts on various topics for NAB conferences and speaking engagements.

DEI Advisory Committee members will serve a two-year term with one opportunity to renew, the NAB said. Members also have the opportunity to participate in NAB’s board development training program, which works to enhance board leadership skills and prep committee members to become successful directors.

Inaugural members of the DEI Advisory Committee include Sandy Breland, Gray Television; Trila Bumstead, Ohana Media Group; Caroline Chambers, Graham Media Group; Alysia Cox, Cox Media Group; Estevan Gonzalez, KSWV Radio; Corey Hanson, WALA, Meredith Media Group; Michele Laven, iHeartMedia; DuJuan McCoy, Circle City Broadcasting; Heidi Raphael, Beasley Media Group; Oscar Rodriguez, Texas Association of Broadcasters; Sharon Tinsley, Alabama Association of Broadcasters; Grady Tripp, Tegna; and Joel Vilmenay, WDSU, Hearst Television.