FCC Releases Ownership Diversity Report

The FCC has released its latest figures for attributable commercial TV station ownership interest by gender, race, and ethnicity (as of Oct. 1, 2013), and the picture is not particularly colorful.

The stats are based on the third biennial report employing its revised 323 ownership form.

Men still dominate, owning 1,005 stations (72.5%) in 2013, up from 873 (64.8%) in 2011. Whites owned 1,070 stations (77.2%) in 2013, up from 935 stations (69.4%) in 2011.

All racial minorities together owned a total of 41 full-power TV stations (only 3% of the total). But that was actually up from 31 stations (2.3%) in 2011.

More stations were owned by Asians and American Indians/Alaska Natives than blacks.

Asians owned 19 stations (1.4%), up more than 200% from 6 stations (.5%) in 2011.

American Indians/Alaska Natives owned 11 stations (.8%), down from 12 stations in 2011.

Blacks owned 9 stations (.6%), down from 11 in 2011. By most accounts that number has now dropped to fewer than a half dozen.

Under the "ethnicity," category, Hispanics led with 42 full-power commercial TV stations (3%), up slightly from 39 stations (2.9%) in 2011.

“We have not had time to fully digest the report, but NAB believes in having diverse ownership opportunities in broadcasting and a work force that is reflective of American society," said National Association of Broadcasters spokesman Dennis Wharton. "That’s why we support reinstatement of a minority tax certificate program that would create new opportunities for radio and television station ownership for people of color. NAB is also deeply committed to the NAB Education Foundation, which provides leadership and development training for broadcast executives looking to own stations and advance their professional careers.”

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.