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NABO Accuses XM Board of Bias

NABO Accuses XM Board of Bias

The confrontation between the National Association of Black Organizations and XM Satellite Radio is still going strong. Representatives of NABO recently claimed to have information showing that XM board members are biased against carrying The Word Network, a broadcaster for black ministries and gospel music that NABO supports.
The charge is the latest in an ongoing dispute between NABO and XM which has included demonstrations at the XM headquarters in Washington and near XM CEO Hugh Panero’s home.
NABO is concerned that programming on XM channels including “Playboy Radio,” “The Joint” (reggae) and “Raw” (uncensored hip-hop) “glorify the cultures of violence, drugs and female debasement.” NABO hopes to promote “value-positive programming for African-Americans,” including carriage of The Word Network, it said.
NABO management consultant Sam Riddle claimed some XM board members have had previous dealings with The Word Network in other capacities, which NABO says creates a conflict of interest, and said those board members have pushed Panero to deny carriage of The Word Network because “they may be conducting personal vendattas.” NABO did not release specific information on its claims.
XM carries a variety of programming oriented toward African-Americans and Christians, such as black talk radio, African music, two Christian music channels and eight “Urban” channels, including “Spirit,” an urban gospel channel. It is celebrating Black History Month with a variety of special programming.
XM did not immediately comment on the NABO comments.