According to the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), National Telecommunications & Information 's John Kneuer, who has been nominated by the White House to head the agency, has told it NTIA has no plans to conduct a study of minority broadcast ownership.
NAHF was "extremely disappointed" by the news.
NAHJ had written Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez April 3 asking NTIA to conduct such a study. It last did so during the Clinton administration, according to the group.
Kneuer did say that the administration "shared the association’s concern that 'American media reflect the diversity of the nation’s people.' "
“We are concerned that lawmakers and federal regulators have failed to address how to increase minority ownership," said NAHJ. "Yet, these same lawmakers and regulators are considering measures that will lead to further media consolidation. The future of minority broadcast ownership is in jeopardy and nothing is being done to address this.”
The FCC is planning to rewrite deregulatory media ownership rules once a fifth commissioner and third Republican on the five-member commission, is seated. Robert McDowell, from telecom lobby Comptel, has been nominated but his nomination has been held up in the Senate.
Handicappers say it will be another year and a half before new ownership rules can run the gauntlet of FCC and court approval. The original rules were remanded by a federal appeals court for modification and justification.