FCC Corrects Minority Ownership Figure

The FCC has corrected a blog posting by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler that had asserted there was "not a single minority-owned TV station in the country."

Wheeler has pointed to the lack of minority ownership as one of the reasons behind his efforts to tighten media ownership attribution rules, efforts opposed by broadcasters.

An FCC spokesperson said the error was caught Tuesday morning and was being fixed.

At press time, the post had been changed to say "[b]ut when there's [Sic] few minority-owned TV stations in the country, clearly we must do better."

In fact, only 3% of all full-power TV stations are owned by all racial minorities combined, according to the FCC's most recently released figures. But that is still 41 stations, actually up from 31 stations in 2011.

"This spring, the Commission launched a comprehensive review of our broadcast ownership rules. I appreciated this opportunity to hear first-hand from various media sectors, the public, and watchdog groups are the realities of the marketplace in 2014 and how these rules can best serve the public interest," Wheeler said in the posting, tied to his visit to Philadelphia Monday (Sept. 22), where he said he had met with "Philadelphians who are using public access television, AM radio, and independent print outlets to engage and inform minority audiences."

John Eggerton

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.