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Free Press Reacts to FCC Ownership Report

Agency intends to relax some rules, but minorities and women continue to be underrepresented, says advocacy group

Advocacy group Free Press says women and people of color continue to be underrepresented in commercial broadcast station ownership.

In comments to the commission, the group is reacting to a recent FCC report that indicates this trend is far from demonstrating improvement. In fact, since 2006, there are 14 fewer full-power TV stations owned by African Americans; today there are only five, according to the report. This is significant because African Americans comprise 13 percent of the country’s population but own less than half a percent of its television stations.

Free Press also reacted to reports that the commission intends to relax some of ownership rules.

“We appreciate the opportunity to comment on the data, which still shows shockingly low levels of broadcast ownership diversity,” Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood said, adding that it is a “first step.”

“The FCC must thoroughly examine and analyze its broadcast ownership data, and then act accordingly to promote and protect diversity instead of allowing it to disappear,” Wood said.