Charter Strikes Memorandum of Understanding With Diversity Groups

In its continuing efforts to make its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House as consumer and FCC friendly as possible, Charter announced it had struck a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with a dozen diversity groups.

Among the promises the company has made for the merged New Charter include adding one African American, one Asian American/Pacific Islander and one Latino American to its board within two years of the transactions close, which is contingent on FCC approval

Charter will also name a chief diversity officer and will expand and "build on" its efforts in corporate governance, employment and workforce recruitment, procurement, programming, and philanthropy and community investment in organizations serving "communities of color."

Such agreements are common in big mergers.

Signing on to the agreement Friday (Jan. 15) were National Urban League, National Action Network, National Council of La Raza, League of United Latin American Citizens, National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, SER-National, Hispanic Federation, Asian Americans Advancing Justice I AAJC, OCA—Asian Pacific American Advocates, Media Action Network for Asian Americans, East West Players, and the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.

"This agreement is another marker of progress that brings with it special resonance on Dr. King's birthday," said Rev. Al Sharpton, president of the National Action Network in a statement. "[T]ogether we are continuing to move closer to achieving his dream of equality in America. The MOU is strengthened by these diverse groups coming together with Charter to affirm their commitment to a future of greater inclusion and diversity. Far beyond just superficial statements, Charter is making concrete assurances to enhance multicultural leadership in corporate governance, their workforce, procurement, programming and community investment. The enactment of the agreement is contingent upon approval of Charter's merger with Time Warner Cable and Bright House–and for that reason we urge regulators to expedite this process."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.