Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet chair Ed Markey (D-MA) has a preview of a GAO report in hand noting a dearth of minority and female broadcast owners. He further notes GAO’s difficulties in completing the study due to the lack of pertinent ownership information at the FCC. GAO said that information was often incomplete or not readily available. "It is past time for the FCC to address our nation’s abysmal record on female- and minority-owned broadcast media," said Markey. "The FCC should work diligently to address this important public policy matter soon. Further, the FCC must take action to improve its data collection and management program so that in the future, better and more comprehensive data are available upon which to base policy decisions."
Markey also cited stakeholder positions on cross-ownership based on the GAO study. It found that 21 of 30 business stakeholders were in favor of repealing the rule restricting such combinations, but only one out of five stakeholders representing newspapers were looking for a repeal.
The full GAO report is expected to be completed early next year.