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NTIA Surveying Minority B’cast Owners

NTIA Surveying Minority B'cast Owners

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration plans to update its minority broadcast ownership information in an effort to develop policies to increase minority broadcast ownership.
NTIA is surveying more than 195 minority media owners for a report it plan to issue this fall.
Minorities owned nearly 3% of the country’s 11,524 stations in 1998, two years after passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which eased ownership caps. Limited access to capital, increased competition and high station prices continue to be barriers to minorities trying to become first-time station owners, according to the 1998 report.
A 1995 congressional decision to eliminate a minority tax certificate program for broadcast ownership and a Supreme Court decision that year that applied a stricter standard for government affirmative action programs, in addition to the effects of the Telecom Act, were cited by NTIA as reasons for the decline in broadcast minority ownership. Minorities owned 322 of 11,475 stations in 1996, said NTIA, a 3% drop from 1996 (Radio World Nov. 12, 1997, page 7).
Leslie Stimson