FCC Diversity Panel Plugs Plan

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The Federal Communications Commission should preserve, and perhaps expand, its distress-sale policy allowing stations threatened with losing their license to sell out to minority buyers, a panel of industry executives and public advocates said Monday.

The recommendation was one of several approved by the FCC Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age, a government-sponsored group of industry executives and public advocates created to draft ideas for getting more minorities into broadcasting.

The panel also urged the FCC to provide license auction credits to companies that do business with diverse entities and to adopt a rule specifically prohibiting intentional discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, or gender in the purchase or sale of any FCC-licensed facility.

In addition to FCC rules, the panel backed a legislative proposal to revive tax breaks for media companies that sell stations to minority and female owners and accepted a report on best practices that promote workplace diversity.

The  report, entitled Workplace Diversity: A Global Necessity and an Ongoing Commitment, surveyed leading companies engaged in diversity initiatives to examine different efforts to keep pace with changing workforce and consumer demographics.

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