Date sent:       Tue, 23 Feb 1999 11:09:06 -0400
From:            stephen provizer <>
Subject:         MRN: NAB plan

A clever way to try and short circuit the LPFM proposal?

Issue: Ownership
The National Broadcaster's Association (NAB) would like to support
minority ownership of radio and TV stations: "A broad-based, major effort
by the industry on an independent, voluntary basis would demonstrate that
solid industry initiatives can be a more effective means of achieving the
FCC's goals than government regulation," NAB fund organizers wrote. The
NAB pledged $10 million last week to help minorities buy TV and radio
stations. "NAB has long supported increasing ownership and employment
opportunities for minorities," said Eddie Fritz, NAB president, which in
turn allows local broadcasting to remain relevant to local communities.
CBS Chief Executive Mel Karmazin and Clear Channel Communications CEO
Lowry Mays, are organizing the fund and say that there is industry
interest in the fund and hopes it will grow. 50 major radio and TV
stations have been asked to launch the fund and are looking into
"volunteer initiatives" such as training programs that would prepare
minorities employees for station management. The idea for a minority fund
has been in the works for a while but industry execs shied away from the
idea when Federal Communication Commission Chairman William Kennard
revealed plan to tighten ownership rules last fall. Chairman Kennard has
voiced concern of minorities being shut out after consolidations following
the 1996 Telecommunications Act. The NAB would like to see an industry
solution, instead of a regulatory one and plans to go ahead with the fund
even if the FCC imposes new ownership restrictions. David Honig, executive
director of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council was pleased:
"This is broadcasters doing something voluntarily, and they don't appear
to be asking for anything." [SOURCE: Broadcast & Cable (p. 14); AUTHOR:
Bill McConnell]

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