NHMC Welcomes Federal Court Decision Requiring FCC to Promote Diversity in Broadcasting

For Immediate Release: May 25, 2016
Contact: Courtney Holsworth, press@balestramedia.com989-572-8162
NHMC Welcomes Federal Court Decision Requiring FCC to Promote Diversity in Broadcasting Today, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in a case about FCC rules limiting the number of broadcast stations an entity can own in a local market. For the third time in a long-running series of cases on this matter, the Court lambasted the FCC for failing to follow the law and take steps to promote the participation of women and people of color in broadcasting. The decision also rejected broadcasters’ request that all the Commission’s ownership rules be thrown out. Although NHMC applauds the Court’s decision, the court also temporarily vacated on technical grounds the television Joint Sales Agreement rule adopted by the FCC in 2014. Despite this troubling decision, NHMC is optimistic the Commission will remedy the procedural issue and readopt the rule in its imminent quadrennial review decision. In the decision, the Court did not hide its disappointment with the FCC stating: Although courts owe deference to agencies, we also recognize that, at some point, we must lean forward from the bench to let an agency know, in no uncertain terms, that enough is enough. For the Commission’s stalled efforts to promote diversity in the broadcast industry, that time has come. (Internal citation omitted) The following statement can be attributed to Jessica J. González, executive vice president and general counsel at the National Hispanic Media Coalition: “For years, NHMC has asked the FCC to take action on media ownership diversity, and we are glad to see the court reinforce our position that the Commission must create more ownership opportunities for women and people of color. Current ownership levels are near-record lows, and media consolidation has led to a less diverse, less responsible media that does not represent the concerns and culture of our communities. We look forward to engaging with the FCC’s upcoming quadrennial review and hope the Commission continues to take steps to ensure accurate data and enforce its own ownership rules.”

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The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a media advocacy and civil rights organization for the advancement of Latinos, working towards a media that is fair and inclusive of Latinos, and towards universal, affordable, and open access to communications.

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