The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters says that lenders have forced the sale of at least 20 African American radio stations since the beginning of the year. Meanwhile, billions are being spent on television stations, none of which seem to be headed to minority owners.
The organization says the trading market is looking like the late 70s before the minority tax certificate was created. It has of course since been un-created, and many have been calling for its re-instatement.
NABOB stated, “In radio, within the past year, no less than 20 radio stations that were owned by African Americans were forced into bankruptcy by their lenders and have subsequently been sold to non-minority purchasers. The failure of these lenders to reach out to minority purchasers, particularly in light of the anemic pace for sales to minorities in general, suggests that radio has regressed back to the pre-1978 days, when minorities were never given an opportunity to participate as station owners. The potential impact on the African American community cannot be overstated. We are losing our voices, sale by sale.”
The organization proceeded to list the numerous high-ticket television deals which it says are shutting out minority owners. One of the key reasons is that the deals often involve SSAs and JSAs which allow the controlling televivion licensee to operate more stations than it could as a single licensee, making fewer stations available to minority owners than might otherwise be the case.
NABOB plans to bring the matter up with the FCC. It concluded, “The deals all must obtain approval from the FCC. NABOB will ask the Commission to consider the potential impact of this string of large transactions on minority ownership and will ask the Commission, once again, to take steps to create policies that promote opportunities for minority owners.”