Congress Takes Action To Incentivize Diverse Broadcast Ownership


US Representative Steven Horsford (D-NV) has introduced the Broadcast Varied Ownership Incentives for Community Expanded Service (VOICES) Act, which seeks to enhance diversity in broadcast media ownership by way of restored incentives for investment.

The act would reinstate the Minority Tax Certificate Program, which previously increased minority and women-owned broadcast station ownership significantly between 1978 and 1995 but was repealed. The program would facilitate sales of broadcast stations to socially disadvantaged individuals and would require annual FCC reports to Congress to recommend further enhancements to ownership diversity.

The legislation also introduces a new tax credit for current broadcast owners who donate their stations to train new entrants in managing and operating broadcast stations, aiming to rectify past imbalances and support the growth of the next media generation.

The bill is set to be introduced in the Senate by Senator Gary Peters (D-MI). Similar acts have been unsuccessful in the past.

Congressman Horsford said, “The Broadcast VOICES Act will reopen doors that have been shut for too long, giving more women and people of color in Nevada and around the country the chance to lead. I’m proud of our work to empower underrepresented voices to tell their own stories and shape our local and national discourse.”

Senator Peters added, “Broadcasters play an essential role in connecting our communities and elevating unique perspectives throughout our country. It’s important that we have a broad range of voices and leaders in the industry.”

NAB President Curtis LeGeyt stated, “Reinstating the diversity tax certificate program is a meaningful step to level the playing field and amplify underrepresented voices in media. NAB has long been committed to access to capital initiatives that expand radio and television station ownership opportunities, particularly for women and people of color. A tax incentive program is a proven solution that significantly diversified the ranks of broadcast owners over its nearly two decades of existence. Broadcasters thank Sen. Peters and Rep. Horsford for introducing legislation that would reinstate the program and we urge swift passage of this important bill.”

Nevada Broadcasters Association President Mitch Fox said, “The Nevada Broadcasters Association has long supported Congressman Horsford’s efforts to pass the Broadcast VOICES Act. We believe this bill will encourage broadcast ownership diversity and we will, once again, make this measure one of our top legislative priorities.”

Besides the NAB, the Broadcast VOICES Act is supported by the National Urban League, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, the Asian Americans Advancing Justice, the Hispanic Federation, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council.


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