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MMTC Asks FCC to Restore Diversity Items

Saying the FCC could not have meant to purposely leave 23 diversity proposals, including some of the FCC's own, out of its consideration of the quadrennial ownership review, the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council has petitioned the FCC to admit it made a mistake and "clarify" that they remain under consideration.

"The facts surrounding the history of these proposals, many of which have been pending for more than a decade, indicate that they fall squarely within the scope of the 2014 Quadrennial Ownership Review due to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals mandate to consider them within the quadrennial review," said MMTC, "yet the Commission has failed to consider them in the current proceeding."

It's not that the FCC did not mention them. But MMTC points out that its "entire disposition" of them was to say that though “accompanied by detailed and thoughtful analysis, and some of them may warrant further consideration…they are outside the scope of this proceeding.”

But MMTC tries to give the FCC the benefit of the doubt, or at least that is how the petition is phrased. "Since we cannot believe that the agency would deliberately defy a court order that essentially requires it to consider these proposals 'at the same time' as the agency undertook the review of its ownership rules, the Commission’s refusal to consider these proposals has to be an honest mistake."

MMTC wants the FCC to issue a correction stating that those proposals remain under consideration and will be acted on within a year.

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.