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Diversity Advisors Named by Pai

Fernandez, Honig, Winston are among members of new committee on diversity and digital empowerment

“All Americans should have the opportunity to participate in the communications marketplace, no matter their race, gender, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

So said Ajit Pai, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, as he appointed 31 people to a new Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment.

Several people from the broadcast community are among the members.

The group will hold its first meeting on Sept. 25 at FCC HQ; meetings are public and will be streamed.

The ACDDE will be chaired by Julia Johnson, president of NetCommunications, and Dianne Sutter, president/CEO of ShootingStar Broadcasting, is vice chair.

Names familiar to radio broadcasters include Kathleen Abernathy of law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer, who is a former FCC commissioner; Andre Fernandez, president/CEO of CBS Radio; Maurita Coley Flippin, EVP of the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council; David Honig, Principal/CEO of JulGlo Productions and co-founder of MMTC; and James Winston, president of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters.

The full list of members is here.

The commitment is for two years. Working groups have been created in the areas of Broadcast Diversity and Development, Digital Empowerment and Inclusion, and Diversity in the Tech Sector.

Their job is to make recommendations to the FCC on “how to empower disadvantaged communities and accelerate the entry of small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities, into the media, digital news and information, and audio and video programming industries, including as owners, suppliers, and employees, as well as recommendations on how to ensure that disadvantaged communities are not denied the wide range of opportunities made possible by next-generation networks.”

The commission also set up a docket number, GN Docket No. 17-208, so anyone can comment about the group’s business using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System, ECFS.