This should be a hot one: A House subcommittee plans to look at the state of minority ownership of broadcasting properties. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning. The panel is the Subcommittee on the Courts and Competition Policy, part of John Conyers’ (D-MI) Judiciary Committee.
The session, entitled “Trends Affecting Minority Broadcast Ownership,” kicks of at 10:00 AM on 76/9/09 in the Rayburn House Office Building.
The committee operates under the gavel of Chairman Hank Johnson (D-GA), with Howard Coble (R-NC) serving from across the aisle as Ranking Member.
The FCC has been putting together a wide-ranging program to increase minority ownership, taking many of its planned actions directly from recommendations from the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council.
The biggest obstacle to getting anything done is pretty much beyond anybody’s control, and that is the lack of financing to get any deal done, no matter who the buyer. Improving access to capital for women and minorities is one of the FCC’s goals, but at this point in time, almost nobody has access to capital.
The list of witnesses invited to testify at this event has not yet been released.
RBR/TVBR observation: If this committee would like to do something really useful, it should write a note to the Ways and Means Committee and tell them to reinstate the minority tax certificate program. Most observers seem to think that is the single most effective tool to get a positive result in this ongoing struggle.