With New Diversity Rules, FCC Aims to Kill ‘No-Urban/No-Hispanic’ Dictates

The FCC also adopted rules to make it easier for minorities and women to own stations.
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The FCC also adopted rules to make it easier for minorities and women to own stations.

The actions are meant to help those eligible with access to capital and spectrum availability.

GOP commissioners said the actions go a long way to increase media ownership by minorities and women; Democratic commissioners said the steps are not meaningful and would actually hurt those meant to benefit from the changes because of an overly-broad definition of who would be eligible.

The agency took several actions, including extending its construction permit deadlines to allow those eligible more time to build out their station and adopting a “zero-tolerance” policy for ownership fraud.

The new rules, when enacted, also require stations renewing their licenses to certify that their ad sales contracts do not discriminate on the basis of race or gender, meaning “no-Urban” or “no-Hispanic” dictates in ad buys would be banned.

Interep praised this. Sherman Kizart, SVP of urban marketing, said the action “shines a light” on such dictates, which many mistakenly believe are a thing of the past.

“Hopefully, this edict will be the beginning of the final chapter for ‘no-Urban dictates and no-Hispanic dictates.’”

The FCC also will seek comment on how to improve its collection of data from stations regarding the gender, race and ethnicity of licensees.

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