Tax certificate hearing in the offing?


That’s the word from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, which itself is gearing up for its 32nd Annual Fall Broadcast Management Conference running 9/24/08-9/26/08 in Washington. The organization says House Ways and Means Committee  Chair Charles Rangel (D-NY)is currently thinking about hosting a panel on the revival of the certificates, widely praised as on of the most effective tools for increasing minority media ownership.

NABOB used its latest newsletter to outline other policy imperatives:

* It is strongly opposed to the XM/Sirius merger, particularly in view of the paltry 4% capacity set aside for minority/niche programmers. It said the “…proposed concessions are completely inadequate to justify allowing the creation of a monopoly.”

* It wants the PPM rollout halted until concerns about African American and Hispanic are satisfactorily addressed.

* It is completely opposed to House attempts to instate a new broadcast performance royalty.

* While applauding many FCC localism initiatives, its applause ceases when it comes to financially burdensome 24/7 staffing and main studio/city of license proposals.

* Its applause for the FCC is unqualified, however, when it comes the the Commission’s admirable efforts to bring “no Urban” and “no Hispanic” dictates to an end.

RBR/TVBR observation: From time to time, minority and niche broadcasters are going to be at odds with mainstream broadcasters, just as there are often rifts between large groups/mom & pops; large market/small market; affiliates/independents; radio/television…the list goes on and on (just ask the NAB, which suffers many of its most severe migraines attempting to bridge these natural chasms. It is therefore encouraging to see the NAB and NABOB are on exactly the same page on just about all of these issues.

As for the tax certificate program, this has come up frequently over the last several years, and it seems to have almost universal approval. It’s time for somebody to just do it. Mr. Rangel, you have the ball – please put it in play ASAP.

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