Starz Beefs Up D.C. Presence

Premium programmer Starz has hired D.C. communications firm Glover Park Group to lobby Washington on program diversity issues.

According to Starz, the firm will educate Washington on shows like Power and Survivor's Remorse, which Starz says serve a traditionally underserved African-American audience.

The FCC has been collecting input on program diversity and could be voting on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking next month, according to sources.

Starz had filed comments in that inquiry pointing out that Power was run by African-American executives and arguing it had the biggest African-American audience for a premium cable drama since The Wire, even though Starz is only available in only a quarter of TV homes.

Now it will look to Glover Park to help drive that point home and possibly get more exposure—and carriage—for its diverse programming.

Separately, the FCC's set-top box revamp proposal has divided diverse programmers over whether it would help or hurt diverse programmers, with some saying it could do both, depending on whether those diverse programmers were incumbents whose business model might be threatened by sharing their content with third parties or new voices that could get more exposure by having their content displayed alongside traditional video.

Starz said Glover Park would be a registered lobbyist for the programmer.

Glover Park is well known in communications lobbying circles. Among its other present and past clients, according to Open Secrets, which tracks lobbying spending, include 21st Century Fox, AMC, Viacom, Scripps Networks, and Disney.

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.