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CBA: Protect Our Diversity

The Community Broadcasters Associaton, which represents low-power TV stations, has been making its case to Washington for some help in getting carriage for stations it said provided the kind of programming and ownership diversity--opportunities for women, small businesses, and minorities--that the FCC is looking to promote.

That comes against a backdrop of the high-profile dust-up between African American targeted progammer TV One and would-be programmer Urban TV/Ion Media over the latter's request that the FCC give the Ion TV station multicast channels that would program Urban TV mandatory cable carriage as a way to promote diversity. It is also in the wake of acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps' announcement that he was already preparing the legal and factual underpinnings for the FCC's promotion of diversity.

CBA presented a survey, Diversity Defined, to FCC members last week, showing that 45% of the stations polled had "meaningful" minority ownership, with 60% having "significant" ownership by women.

CBA asked the FCC for a number of things, including mandatory MVPD carriage for "deserving" low powers and funding for DTV conversion that included mobile TV capacity.

CBA said it sent the survey to the Obama administration--which has made media diversity a priority of its tech policy agenda--and will be working the Hill, asking for action.