FCC Confirms Minority Owner Access To Capital Symposium


What is the right path to media ownership and sustainability for a female licensee, or one led by a person of color?

That’s a question that will be at the heart of an upcoming full-day symposium co-presented by the Access to Capital working group of the FCC‘s Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment and the Media Bureau.

Similar to a symposium conducted in November 2019 at the FCC’s now-former headquarters at the Portals that saw the participation, among others, of Streamline Publishing Chairman/CEO Eric Rhoads offer commentary on the state of broadcast media in the U.S., the Media Bureau and ACDDE are staging an eight-hour affair on Friday, November 6.

Only, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, participants and staff won’t be christening a new Commission meeting room at its just-opened headquarters building within walking distance of Union Station, and the Senate side of Capitol Hill.

Specifically, the day-long event will be convened virtually via WebEx and will be available to the public streaming via the Internet at www.fcc.gov/live.

The event will commence with remarks from Democratic Commissioner Geoffrey Starks, who recently participated in an eye-opening Hispanic Radio Conference LIVE keynote address and subsequent Q&A with RBR+TVBR Editor-in-Chief Adam R Jacobson; Media Bureau Chief Michelle Carey; ACDDE Vice Chair and Connected Nation Director of Digital Inclusion Heather Gate; Wiley Rein LLP Partner and ACDDE Chair Anna Gomez; and Beasley Media Group CEO Caroline Beasley, who is Chair of the ACDDE’s Access to Capital Working Group.

The first formal session — concurrent to third-quarter earnings calls from The E.W. Scripps Co. and Entercom Communications — is a session devoted to obtaining financing in today’s changing environment.

The moderator: Outspoken broadcast TV station owner DuJuan McCoy, a participant in RBR+TVBR’s Black Media Symposium, conducted in August.

Panelists at this session include Ty M. Shea, CFO of McCoy’s Circle City Broadcasting; U.S. Bank SVP/Media & Communications Garrett Komjathy; and U.S. Bank Managing Director of Loan Capital Markets Daniel J. Damon.

That session concludes at 11am. The following session, an hour-long affair, is focused on “Tax Certificate Policies to Increase Ownership Diversity: Past, Present and Future.”

Wonder Media Company LLC Legal Counsel Aama Nahuja is the moderator, with David Honig, the longtime figure associated with the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (MMTC) who co-founded the group; the legislative counsel for Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), who has introduced legislation in the House that would bring back the minority tax certificate; and House E&C Subcommittee on Communications and Technology Chief Council Kate O’Connor.

After a lunch break, a session from 12:45pm-2pm on the “potential impact of a tax certificate on the marketplace” will be held. The moderators for this panel are MMTC President Maurita Coley Flippin and Wiley Rein partner Henry Rivera. The panelists are Perry Broadcasting CEO Russell Perry, Solmart Media co-owner Tomás Martinez, Emmis Communications Chairman/CEO Jeff Smulyan; and WURD-AM 900 in Philadelphia President/CEO Sara Lomax-Reese.

Following a short 2pm break, another session, scheduled from 2:10pm-3:25pm, will feature a presentation on Nielsen media ratings measurements “for diverse media owners,” with National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters President James Winston and New Jersey Broadcasting/South Asian Broadcasting CEO Nimisha Shukla co-moderating a session with Nielsen SVP/Community Alliances Stacie de Armas, SVP/Product Leadership Bill Rose and Adonis Hoffman, founder of The Advisory Council LLC.

Lastly, a 3:35pm-4:45pm session on increasing access to advertising for diverse media owners will see Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) Chairman/CEO Raúl Alarcón Jr. co-moderate a panel with Sherman Kizart, the veteran multicultural media ad sales consultant. Panelists include one of the most esteemed marketing wizards in the world today: Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer for Procter & Gamble Co. He will be joined by three advertising agency executives: Sanders Wingo Advertising Chairman/CEO Bob Wingo; Carol H. Williams; and Irving Street Agency founder and CEO A. Curtis Farrow.


RBR+TVBR Editor-in-Chief Adam R Jacobson will be offering select same-day coverage at RBR.com, and continuing coverage of this event the week of November 9.