Here’s another acronym to remember: SDB. In response to a formal FCC inquiry, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council has offered numerous ways to promote an increase in socially disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) into the ranks of broadcast ownership. Its remarks are in large part seconded by the National Association of Broadcasters. "Today it is almost universally agreed that curing the acute minority under-representation in broadcast ownership would do much to promote competition and diversity of viewpoints," wrote MMTC’s David Honig. "Since market entry barriers that still inhibit minority broadcast entry and growth are numerous and powerful, the Commission will need to deploy an equally numerous and powerful set of tools with which to correct the problem." Noting that to date efforts have been limited or even token, MMTC offered 28 initiatives the FCC could put in place immediately, two more it could adopt with further study and eight voluntary industry initiatives. They involve everything from further study, allowing extra time for SBDs to dig up financial backing, tweaking of existing initiatives and advocation of benevolent changes to the tax code. Of the proposals, Honig added, "…the Commission should examine them holistically, and adopt a thorough, comprehensive package of initiatives that collectively would be sufficient, with breathtaking rather than ‘deliberate’ speed, to fully address each category of market entry barriers that cause minority exclusion: access to spectrum, access to capital, and access to opportunity." Tomorrow: A look at NAB’s proposals.
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