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FCC Delays Vote on Minority Ownership

The FCC delayed a vote this week on initiatives designed to increase media ownership by minorities and women.

One such proposal would require broadcasters to lease excess DTV channels to small businesses owned by women and minorities.

Speaking to reporters gathered for the monthly meeting on Tuesday, Martin said commissioners needed more time to discuss the issue.

Commissioners Jonathon Adelstein and Michael Copps were pleased by the vote delay to give the subject due consideration, citing a need to act quickly but not recklessly. The previous timeline had started to feel like a “whitewash” to Copps; Adelstein called the previous timeline “a fig leaf” attempt to address minority and female ownership.

Adelstein again called for an independent panel to review minority ownership, stating that “media sharecropping is no substitute for media ownership.”

Commissioners will get a chance to explain their decision-making process soon. Both the Senate and House Commerce Committees have scheduled FCC oversight hearings for December.

(Radio World)