Big Media and Diverse Media?

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It turns out that "Big Media" can also be diverse media, at least in terms of their business practices. That's according to some minority business owners themselves.

Diversity consultant DiversityBusiness.com polled 18,000 minority business owners online and asked them to identify the companies that "best promote multicultural business opportunities." Among the top 50 were several of the biggest communications companies in the business.

Time Warner, the nation's largest media company, ranked 13th, its third year in a row on the list (this is the fifth year for the rankings) while Comcast, the biggest cable MSO, ranked 37th, making its first appearance. Also making the list were Disney, 29th, and GE, 45th.

DiversityBusiness President Kenton Clarke points out that Time Warner didn't make the list until after its merger with AOL, but that the beneficiary was AOL. Time Warner had been improving, but AOL "hadn't been doing much at all," in terms of increasing opportunities, said Clarke.

Congratulating the companies was FCC Chairman Michael Powell, who said in a statement: "These companies have realized that diversity can be a commercial advantage that should be cultivated in order to prosper in the marketplace. 

"I commend them for the vision that will ensure that our communications industries are as diverse as the nation that they serve."

Time Warner Chairman Richard Parsons has made diversifying his company a key priority, saying it just makes good business sense.

For its part, the FCC did not make the list of the top 20 government agencies that help develop minority businesses. Number one on that list: The Minority Business Development Agency.

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