Another sign the industry is not totally united on lifting the ownership limits. And we shall see if this FCC takes into account that two important minority groups, in addition to iHeartMedia, do not want to see any additional deregulation. Both Urban One and NABOB (see next story) oppose what the NAB has proposed on behalf of its membership. Here are highlights from the Urban One filing.
Urban One says it supports keeping the current radio ownership regulations in place as they will continue to foster service to the public, a diversity of ownership, and a competitive radio market landscape that would be at risk of being forever lost should the largely unfettered ownership of radio stations be allowed without any FCC restraints.
The company states that a further relaxation of the radio ownership rules would lead to less diversity in ownership and would squeeze out minority voices. “It is local news, accurate weather coverage, emergency information, the local appearances by radio personalities, the participation in community fund drives, the support of charity events, and the quality of programming aimed at addressing community issues, which differentiates radio stations to both listeners and advertisers. In a less competitive environment, there is much less incentive to commit the financial resources toward expensive local programming.”
Urban One believes that the NAB proposal to largely deregulate radio ownership limitations in smaller markets, and substantially increase consolidation in larger markets, is a non-starter.
And Urban One submits that the FCC’s radio ownership regulations should strive to maintain the unique aspects of radio broadcasting – there are no public or consumer benefits to further radio deregulation.
Urban One’s stance is the FCC’s Local Radio Ownership Rule should remain unchanged.