FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has circulated a proposal that would establish the requirements to govern the incubator program that the Commission adopted in 2017. The program supports the entry of new and diverse voices into the broadcast industry. It will be voted on at the FCC August meeting. Here are the details of the program.
The incubator program pairs established broadcasters with smaller new entrants or struggling owners who lack access to capital and operational experience. The established broadcaster—the incubator—would help provide financial and operational support, including training and mentoring, to the new or struggling broadcaster. The program would initially apply to AM/FM full-service broadcast radio station ownership, as radio has traditionally been the most accessible entry point for new entrants and small businesses seeking to enter the broadcasting sector.
Pai said the FCC is committed to bringing more diverse voices into broadcasting and that’s why the new incubator program will be voted on next month. “This program will encourage new voices, including women and minorities, to enter the broadcast business. In particular, it will help address the significant barriers, including lack of access to capital, that currently make it hard for many to join the broadcast industry. I would like to thank all of the stakeholders, including the FCC’s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, that shared their recommendations on how this program should be structured. I hope that my colleagues will join me in supporting this important initiative.”