Genachowski: Concerned About 'Perfect Storm' Quality of Traditional Media

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Friday he was very concerned about what he saw as the "perfect storm" quality to the current state of traditional media.

That, of course, is the reference to fisherman whose boat was lost in a confluence of powerful forces and key decisions.

"Broadcasters today are confronted with a difficult economy, a plummeting advertising market, and rapid technological change buffeting traditional business plans," he told a National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters conference crowd in Washington Friday (Sept. 25).

He said there was a fourth challenge for minority owners--access to capital, "made even more difficult by a capital market that’s in the basement."

The chairman said that one thing that hasn't changed since he was at the FCC--in the mid-1990's--was the status of minority and female ownership. He pointed out that while 34% of the population are minorities, only 8% of commercial full-power radio stations, and only 3% of full-power TV stations, are owned by minorities. Women make up half the population but only own 6% of full-power commercial radio stations and only 5% of commercial full-power TVs.

"This has been a long-time concern of the agency, and I think it is important to note that concern about minority and female ownership remains bipartisan."

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.