Critics Press FCC on Latino Media Ownership


The Federal Communications Commission, already under fire from professional media groups for its delay in deciding whether to lift media ownership limits, is taking criticism from a prominent Latino media organization.
Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, says the FCC hasn’t done the proper studies showing how Latinos and other ethnic groups would be affected by the FCC’s potential actions, according to a recent article in Hispanic Link Report.
Free Press president Craig Aaron said his organization would pursue legal action against the FCC if its commissioners approve the draft order that would repeal the ban on media consolidation without first examining how it would impact diversity.
The non-white stake in TV station ownership is 3.6 percent.  A draft order from the FCC would lift the newspaper-radio cross-ownership ban and let television and newspaper cross-ownership in the top 20 markets, according to Hispanic Link.
Free Press and civil rights activists contend that consolidating markets will further shrink Latino, black and other minority representation, raising the entry requirements and making it harder for new owners to enter the market. The FCC is mandated by Congress to review the ban as part of its quadrennial review, which is already two years behind schedule.
An FCC spokesman said the draft order includes “a comprehensive analysis of viewpoint diversity based on an extensive record developed over the last three years, including six public hearings held across the country; two rounds of public comment, and eleven economic studies that were competitively bid, subject to peer review, and publicly released.”