Govt. reports few minority-owned b'casters
WASHINGTON — Vice President Gore told a group of black broadcasters that the Justice Dept. is now reviewing a lower court’s decision to throw out the FCC’s minority hiring regulations and that the case may be appealed to the Supreme Court.
“We haven’t heard the final word yet,” said Gore, just days after a federal court here rejected the FCC’s request to take another look at the decision, which blocked the agency from enforcing its Equal Employment Opportunity rules.
Gore also announced at a speech before the National Assn. of Black Owned Broadcasters that the Commerce Dept. would issue a new report today that shows that only 2.9% of all broadcast properties are owned by minorities.
Echoing Federal Communications Commission chairman Bill Kennard, Gore used his appearance Thursday to express concern that growing consolidation in the media business could force minorities out of the industry. “More and more minority owners are being forced to sell to majority-owned conglomerates,” said Gore. “If this trend continues, we risk losing not just minority representation in the ownership ranks, but crucial opportunities in the workforce and voices in the community.”
Gore also endorsed an FCC study into potential discrimination in the advertising market. The study was ordered after a memo surfaced that was written by a member of the sales staff at radio rep firm Katz Media. The memo urged ad buyers to avoid stations that cater to the African-American audience. The memo said buyers should look for “prospects not suspects.”
“I was appalled when I read about that shameful memo urging advertisers not to use ethnic advertising,” said Gore, who also said he had called for a review of federal advertising policies, “to ensure that our government is not part of the problem, but part of the solution.”