preaching to the choir, but FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn told a
Diversity Week audience in New York Tuesday that cable is "increasingly
setting the standard of excellence on television,"
citing its increasing variety of original programming that "reflects
our multicultural society."
Clyburn was speaking at the National Associatoin For Multi-Ethnicity In Communications (NAMIC) Conference.
suggested that cable was in a great position to capitalize on the trend
away from video over the TV set. "Pointing to a Pew survey released in
August, she said that only 42% of respondents
said owning a TV set was a necessity, and among the 18-29-year-olds,
that number was only 29%."
change of this magnitude can be unsettling," said, but also said that
the cable industry has avoided the temptation to preserve the old
models, instead investing billing to build out its
infrastructure, and finding it in a "strong position to lead the market
for broadband delivery as the demand for higher speeds and more
over-the-top video becomes the new standard, she suggested, it would
favor networks best equipped to deliver bandwidth-hungry video. "[R]ight
now," she pointed out, "that would be cable." She also
put in a plug for keeping that online pipeline open to content by and
for women and minorities.
pointed to room for improvement in the cable industry as well. While she
said that NAMIC research showed there has been "consistent improvement"
in diversifying the workforce, but that
the numbers still did not match their percentages in the population,
and that the survey also showed a "slight bias" against minorities and
women in retention.
sent the message to companies who want to merge in the media space,
"While I can't discuss the specifics of pending matters, for mergers in
the Media industry in particular," she said,
"commitments to promote and protect diversity are critical.
value assurances from parties that their proposed transactions and
mergers will result in more opportunities for new and diverse entrants,
whether in programming or marketing, or in hiring
staff or choosing vendors."
steward of the first big proposed media merger under the Obama
administration, has made a number of pledges on the diversity front,
including programming, marketing, staffing and vendors.