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Butterfield’s Bill Aims to Promote Media Diversity With Tax Program

NAB approves of the measure

This week, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) introduced the Expanding Broadcast Ownership Opportunities Act of 2017 to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

According to the bill’s summary, its aim is “[t]o direct the Federal Communications Commission to take certain actions to increase diversity of ownership in the broadcasting industry, and for other purposes.” In part, it would amend the Communications Act to add a “tax certificate program for broadcast station transactions furthering ownership by socially and economically disadvantaged humans.”

“NAB thanks Rep. Butterfield for introducing legislation that would increase diversity in broadcast station ownership. Broadcasters have long supported market-based solutions that expand the diversity of voices at radio and television stations, and NAB has worked with partners from across industries to help women and minorities achieve their dreams of station ownership,” NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said in a statement released this week.

“We will continue our work with regulators, lawmakers and stakeholders on addressing this important issue and support swift passage of this legislation,” Wharton continued.