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MMTC Targets End of May for FCC-Sanctioned Diversity Study

The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council and BIA are still in the midst of interviews for their report on the impact of crossownership rules on minority ownership, which is expected to be completed by mid-May and delivered to the FCC at the end of May, according to MMTC.

The FCC will not be completing its 2010 quadrennial review until the study is finished, the outgoing chairman Julius Genachowski has signaled, and now that completion will have to be left to his successors since he announced this week a mid-May departure date.

On Feb. 26, Genachowski agreed to hold up on a vote on his proposed media ownership revisions -- lifting the ban on radio-newspaper crossownership and allowing for at least the possibility of TV-newspaper crossownership in larger markets -- to allow for the study. MMTC initially indicated that it should be able to have the report in the FCC's hands within eight weeks of that date, or by the end of April. But that timetable has been pushed back by a few weeks.

MMTC president David Honig said Thursday that they still needed to wrap up the interviews, write the report and have it peer reviewed, with the report expected to be done by May 17, and reviewed and sent to the FCC by the end of the month, which would put it in the hands of acting chair Mignon Clyburn. She praised the study at the time, saying it "could shed greater light on any potential harms that may result from increased media consolidation."

MMTC proposed the report as a solution to the pushback the chairman was getting for not having completed separate, court-mandated, diversity studies before proposing his changes, which essentially mirror ones proposed by his Republican predecessor.