Minority Ownership A "Keen Disappointment"
Minority Ownership A "Keen Disappointment"
by Sherman Kizart
The Obama administration’s Federal Communications Commission received sharp criticism and attacks from over 23 civil rights groups recently in the area of minority broadcast ownership and enforcement of EEO. The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) characterized the Obama administration’s track record as a “keen disappointment” and went on to say that the Obama administration at the FCC has not moved “any actionable proposals to improve minority ownership in the past 2 years. We’ve seen the numbers for the past 20 years dating back to the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Minority ownership of Radio has continued a downward spiral. Today less than 2% of all commercial radio stations are owned by African Americans and Hispanics.
Minority ownership’s demise isn’t the blame of the FCC and its policies. Access to capital and Access to deal flow are the major obstacles today, yesterday, and tomorrow to increasing the number of African American and Hispanic owners. There are no shortage of terrific African American and Hispanic owners, senior minority executives with ownership aspirations, and new entrants that have strong desires and excellent business plans to acquire and operation radio stations. Every single one of them will tell you that “access to radio deals and access to capital to do these deals” are their greatest challenge.
How can we affectively address this issue and what role can the FCC play as a policy instrument? The answer is a collaboration between private industry giants and minority ownership participants. The collaboration between private broadcast companies such as Clear Channel, Cumulus Broadcasting, CBS, Entercom and and minority owners has worked before. It will work today. Clear Channel Communications strategic collaboration with Snowden Broadcasting at the outset of the 1996 Telecommunications Act was an excellent example of this collaboration. Clear Channel made its wide-array of resources including access to deals and access to capital available to minority owned Snowden Broadcasting. Snowden Broadcasting operated over a dozen stations for years until it choose to exit the industry.
What’s the incentive for Private and publicly held companies today to create such partnerships with minority owners? Mega acquisition deals are returning to radio as top-line revenue has increased and multiples have come down to reasonable levels. In 2011, Cumulus Broadcasting announced its plans to acquire Citadel for $2.5 billion. These deals always face tremendous scrutiny and numerous regulatory hurdles.
Now is the time for the FCC, private and publicly owned media companies, and minority ownership communities to develop and implement programs that recognize award collaboration in this area.When everyone comes to table with one common goal regardless of their varying interests, progress can and will be made. Now is the time to make real progress in the area of boosting minority ownership participation. Everyone has skin in the game.
Sherman K. Kizart is Managing Director of Kizart Media Partners. He can be reached at (312)371-4127 or firstname.lastname@example.org
(3/27/2013 7:13:25 PM) |
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(1/5/2013 8:57:48 PM) |
here we are in 2013 and faced with the fcc trying to pass under the table a new add on to deregulation, mr. kizart is a mishmash in his logic or a bad actor who is willing to remain out of touch with reality, the fcc is the paramount problem here, mr. kizart fails to address how 30 years ago 50 corps owned major media in this country fast forward to 2013 and it's only 5, the fcc may of once been the goverment agency set fourth to police broadcast owners, but today the fcc is run and controlled by the same people they were once intrusted to police, that hurt alot of free market enterpriser's ego's, but there is a reason why u don't allow police to police eachother folks.
(2/24/2011 2:34:40 PM) |
I agree with Kieth. Diversity is not always a good thing. While it's true that a certain amount of diversity can add spice to a society, encouraging people to fragment according to race and ethnicity, is a racists dream! Think about it. A racist wants to fragment society so that he has a scapegoat.
It is not the 50's or 60's anymore. I see no reason to give special treatment to any race or ethnic group. By doing so, isn't that the very definition of racism?
There are some things that are extremely important to keeping a country and a society, strong, unified and healthy. Probably the most unifying element is common language. I'm not saying that having a second language is bad. I think it's a very good thing. It's the kind of spice I wrote about earlier...but as a primary language, this country speaks English, and it should remain so.
(2/24/2011 2:00:02 PM) |
Good article - am clearly interested in this field of our industry - as well as how it affects and effects buying and reaching the minority-based audience. Isn't 2024 the year that the minority becomes the majority nationwide? What of ownership and buying then?
(Not sure if the first comment left is meant to be sarcastic..or maybe, at least, ironic?)
(2/24/2011 12:44:39 PM) |
We have reached a point in time where society and the government must stop looking at issues with their racial glasses on. Remember back in the 40's, 50's, 60's... where we truly had communities. There were no black stations, hispanic stations, korean stations... we all were exposed to the same general stuff. Today we are segmented by race and we don't know each other anymore. And our newcomers aren't assimilating because they tune into their own ethnic station and tune everythubg else out. All stations should be English only.
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