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Justice pushes minority recruiting rules change

The Justice Department is urging federal judges to dismiss civil rights groups' request to preserve the part of minority and female recruiting rules that would force broadcasters and cable companies designing their own outreach programs to report job applicants' race and gender.

The Justice Department also deferred to the FCC's request to preserve another portion of the rules that required stations to provide job notices to any organization that request. Stations also would have to choose four of 13 recruitment initiatives such as job fairs, scholarships and training programs.

The FCC last month asked the court to preserve that provision, which was also thrown out by the court even though the judges voiced no objection. Without taking a stand on either provision's constitutionality, Justice attorneys said Wednesday the reporting requirement won't be of "exceptional importance" if the FCC is able to preserve the outreach portion of the rules. - Bill McConnell