The government last week rejected broadcasters' call to delay implementation of new industry recruiting rules designed to get more minorities and women into the business. The State Broadcasters Associations had asked the agency to stay the rules pending a ruling in the group's appeal to federal court. Broadcasters say the rules would pressure them into making race-based and gender-based hiring decisions and would impose undue paperwork burdens. The FCC said the association's claims were without merit, but Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth argued for a stay and predicted that the appeal ultimately will be upheld.
The new rules offer broadcast and cable licensees two options. The first would require them to send job vacancy announcements to organizations requesting the notices and to select from a menu of outreach opportunities such as job fairs. The other would allow licensees to design their own recruiting programs but would require them to keep records on the sources, race, ethnicity and gender of applicants.