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FCC Names New Members Of Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age

The FCC has named the new members of its Advisory Committee on Diversity for Communications in the Digital Age, which will hold a meeting May. 7. They include cable vets Debra Lee (BET) and Matt Blank (Showtime), as well as broadcasters, public interest group representatives, telco execs, and association representatives.

The committee will provide "an important and independent voice," said FCC acting Chairman Michael Copps. Copps has signaled that boosting ownership diversity is one of his priorities.

The committee may be an independent voice, but Copps has also lent his voice to the proceedings. "[A]long with whatever priorities it has," Copps said in announcing the new membership, "I would like it to take up two issues that I believe warrant immediate attention:  (1) recommendations regarding the state of past Commission Adarand studies and the nature, scope and methodology of any additional studies or updates that are necessary; and (2) recommendations on a “full file review” process that the FCC can implement on an interim basis and that builds on the work done by the prior Diversity Committee.”

Copps has said he wants to tee up the diversity issue for his successor in the post, Julius Genachowski.

Diversity committee members are:

Henry Rivera, Emma Bowen Foundation for Minority Interests in Media (Chairperson)
on, Jr., Spanish Broadcasting System l Alarc Rau
Jenny Alonzo, Mio.TV
James M. Assey, Jr., National Cable Television Association
Geoffrey C. Blackwell, Chickasaw Nation Industries, Inc.
Matthew Blank, Showtime Networks
Maria E. Brennan, American Women in Radio and Television
Kathy Brown, Verizon
Toni Cook Bush, Virgin Mobile
Alan B. Davidson, Google, Inc.
Ralph de la Vega, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets
Steve Hillard, Council Tree Communications
David Honig, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
Rodney Hood, National Credit Union Administration
Ronald Johnson, Ronson Network Services
Debra Lee, BET Holdings, Inc.
Jane Mago, National Association of Broadcasters
Robert Mendez, ABC Television Network
Marc H. Morial, National Urban League
Karen K. Narasaki, Asian American Justice Center
Melissa Newman, Qwest
Jake Oliver, Afro-American Newspapers
Susan K. Patrick, Patrick Communications
Lisa Pickrum, The RLJ Companies
Rey Ramsey, One Economy Corporation
Michael V. Roberts, Roberts Broadcasting Companies LLC
Andrew Schwartzman, Media Access Project
Anita Stephens Graham, Opportunity Capital Partners
Diane Sutter, Shooting Star Broadcasting
Charles Warfield, Inner City Broadcasting
James Winston, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters

John Eggerton
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.