FCC diversity committee gets set for new start


The FCC’s Diversity Advisory Committee is now officially rechartered almost to the end of 2010, and is getting set to meet and start tackling its assigned issues 5/7/09. It’s looking at “…access to capital, transactional transparency, career advancement, and the impact of new and emerging technologies on diversity issues,” among other things.

“I am extremely pleased to announce the membership of this vital Advisory Committee,” Acting Chairman Michael Copps stated, “which will provide an important and independent voice for strengthening our commitment to diversity. The sad truth is that the diversity of this great nation is not reflected in the ownership of its media and telecommunications facilities. The time has come to chart a new course, to roll up our sleeves and get to work to craft sustainable solutions. I would like the Committee to convene as quickly as possible and, along with whatever priorities it has, to take up two issues that I believe warrant immediate attention: (1) recommendations regarding the state of past Commission Adarand studies and the nature, scope and methodology of any additional studies or updates that are necessary; and (2) recommendations on a “full file review” process that the FCC can implement on an interim basis and that builds on the work done by the prior Diversity Committee.”

Here is the full membership of the committee:

Henry Rivera, Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media (Chairperson)

Raul Alarcon, Jr., Spanish Broadcasting System

Jenny Alonzo, Mio.TV

James M. Assey, Jr., National Cable Television Association

Geoffrey C. Blackwell, Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc.

Matthew Blank, Showtime Networks

Maria E. Brennan, American Women in Radio and Television

Kathy Brown, Verizon

Toni Cook Bush, Virgin Mobile

Alan B. Davidson, Google, Inc.

Ralph de la Vega, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets

Steve Hillard, Council Tree Communications

David Honig, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council

Rodney Hood, National Credit Union Administration

Ronald Johnson, Ronson Network Services

Debra Lee, BET Holdings, Inc.

Jane Mago, National Association of Broadcasters

Robert Mendez, ABC Television Network

Marc H. Morial, National Urban League

Karen K. Narasaki, Asian American Justice Center

Melissa Newman, Qwest

Jake Oliver, Afro-American Newspapers

Susan K. Patrick, Patrick Communications

Lisa Pickrum, The RLJ Companies

Rey Ramsey, One Economy Corporation

Michael V. Roberts, Roberts Broadcasting Companies LLC

Andrew Schwartzman, Media Access Project

Anita Stephens Graham, Opportunity Capital Partners

Diane Sutter, Shooting Star Broadcasting

Charles Warfield, Inner City Broadcasting

James Winston, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters

RBR/TVBR observation
: The goal of supporting diversity has had widespread industry support. Still, we remember committee members like this during the past presidency complaining from time to time that their recommendations were being ignored. That is far less likely going ahead. It will be good to keep a close eye on what’s going on here, and NAB’s Jane Mago will have an excellent opportunity to do so as an official committee member.