The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters applauded departing FCC Chair Julius Genachowski and Commissioner Robert McDowell, and then suggested that President Barack Obama make history by appointing a woman of color to fill.
NABOB Executive Director and General Counsel James L. Winston pointed out that in addition to making history, Obama would be installing an individual uniquely qualified to address pending issues concerning the diversity of FCC licensees.
Winston noted that the reverse auctions that will kick off the incentive auction process will likely cost America some of its small pool of minority licensees, and noted that there is no provision on the spectrum buying end that encourages new minority owners.
Winston also believes the end result will be devastation of the LPTV class of stations and with it loss of service to minority communities.
“These issues raised by the Incentive Auctions demonstrate that a significant potential loss of service to minority communities could result from imprudent or neglectful decisions in the Incentive Auction proceeding,” commented Winston. “Such losses of service could have severe negative implications for the social and political voices of the minority communities impacted by the Incentive Auctions and for political candidates who rely upon the stations that serve these communities. NABOB urges the President to consider these issues as he chooses his next FCC Chair.”
The first of two candidates put forth by NABOB is sitting Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. “Commissioner Clyburn has pushed for media ownership rules that reflect the demographics of America, affordable universal telephone and high-speed internet access, greater broadband deployment and adoption throughout the nation, and transparency in regulation. NABOB has always found Commissioner Clyburn’s door open, and she has championed many of the issues of concern to NABOB’s members,” said Winston.
The second is Catherine Sandoval of the California Public Utilities Commission. “Commissioner Sandoval was the Director of the Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO) at the FCC from 1994 to 1999. During her tenure as the Director of OCBO, and throughout her career, Commissioner Sandoval has been in the forefront of the effort to promote diversity in the telecommunications industry. In 2009, while teaching at the Santa Clara School of Law, Commissioner Sandoval completed a study of “Minority Commercial Radio Ownership,” which has been frequently cited by NABOB and throughout the industry.”
In conclusion, Winston stated, “NABOB supports both of these highly qualified candidates for the position of Chair. It will be a difficult decision, and the President must be pleased to have two such highly qualified candidates from which to choose.”