NABOB backs McCain’s radio plan

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The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters has endorsed Senate
Commerce Committee chairman John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) plan to make radio owners divest
stations if they exceed new local-ownership limits.

New rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission June 2 would
allow existing radio clusters to remain intact regardless of whether they comply
with the new rules.

Arguing that old market-measurement methods created a loophole allowing one
owner to control more stations in a market than Congress intended, the FCC
switched to Arbitron Inc. market definitions.

"These excessive ownership situations should not have been grandfathered,"
NABOB executive director James Winston said.

He also called on the FCC to reconsider its decision to include noncommercial
stations in measurements of market size -- a move that damps the impact of the
switch to Arbitron.

NABOB said radio consolidation in the past seven years has diminished
opportunities for minorities to own stations.

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