FCC Report Shows Little Net Improvement in Ownership Diversity
Women, Latinos make some gains in full-power TV ownership, African-Americans lose ground
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/14/2012 3:40:39 PM
The report has not been released by the FCC's media bureau at presstime, but was expected anytime. Multiple sources say it is done and, according to a source who has seen data from the report, in 2011, women had an attributable interest in 91 full-power TV stations, or 6.8%, of the 1,348 total full-power TV stations. That is up from 5.6% of those stations in 2009.
Women make up 50.8% of the population, according to the 2010 Census. Men owned 873 full-power TV stations (64.8%) in 2011, vs. 60.4% in 2009.
While it may seem counterintuitive that both numbers could go up, that is because the other 28% or so of stations have no single owner whose stake triggers attributable ownership.
According to the new report, racial minorities, which the FCC breaks out from "ethnicity," owned only 30 full-power TV stations in 2009 and that number was the same in 2011.
African-American ownership dropped from 12 stations in 2009 to 10 stations in 2011, or less than 1% of the total. Ownership of the balance of the 30 stations (about 1.5% of the total) was spread among Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asians and others.
Hispanics and Latinos, whose ownership is broken out under the "ethnicity" category, saw their ownership climb from 30 stations in 2009 to 39 in 2011, or 2.9% of the total. Hispanics represent 16.7% of the population, according to the Census.
The FCC uses the report to inform its upcoming order revising its media ownership rules per a congressionally mandated quadrennial review, an order that is expected to be released as early as next week, with the 323 report release likely to accompany, if not precede, it. The report will also help the FCC with its response to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which had questions with the way the FCC under Kevin Martin justified a series of diversity initiatives.
The report does not get into why those minority ownership figures have not significantly improved, or in some cases declined. The report offers up the data, and will eventually almost certainly be turned into a "crunchable" database as well.
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