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Democrats Seek to Bail Out Minority Broadcasters

WASHINGTON: Several key House Democrats are urging Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to extend credit to minority-owned broadcast companies hard hit by the economy.

House Majority Whip James Clyburn of South Carolina has joined with a dozen other House members for the cause. Clyburn is the father of Mignon Clyburn, who has been nominated by the Obama Administration for a slot on the FCC.

In a joint letter to Geithner, Clyburn, along with Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Bobby Rush, D-Ill.; Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y.; and Maxine Waters, D-Calif., ask Geithner to take action to restore credit funding to minority broadcasters until credit markets stabilize.

The lawmakers suggest temporary bridge loans or government-backed financing, as well as other options. “Let us be clear: It is absolutely essential that we do not allow this once-in-a-generation financial crisis to erase the modest inroads minorities have made into the broadcast industry,” they wrote.

The House members ask for a reply by June 5 and also ask that Treasury Department staff meet with representatives of minority-owned broadcast groups and from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters. – from TV Technology