Free Press, a group opposed to easing restrictions on broadcast ownership, releases study that shows women and minorities are shut out of TV station ownership. Group blames media consolidation.
Formally launching its fight to stop the FCC from easing broadcast ownership restrictions and allowing further concentration of broadcast stations, Free Press today unveiled a new study that finds that women own just 5 percent of TV stations and minorities, just 3 percent.
The full study—Out of the Picture: Minority and Female TV Ownership in the United States—was released just prior to a teleconference this morning.
“This study should give the FCC pause,” said Derek Turner, research director of Free Press and one of its authors. “Before it goes ahead with any rules changes that will increase media concentration it should fully study and consider the impact of these changes on female and minority ownership. The evidence shows clearly that further consolidation…will obstruct and reduce female and minority ownership of broadcast television stations.”
Mark Cooper of the McGannon Research Center was the other co-author. “For years, we had good qualitative evidence of the linkage between ownership concentration and the lack of minority ownership,” he said. “This is the first study to show that relationship directly.”
The release of the study was apparently supposed to be tied to the due date for the first round of comments in the FCC’s new media ownership rulemarking. That date was Sept. 22, but yesterday the FCC pushed the date back to Oct. 23.
Among the report’s findings:
- Women compose 51% of the entire U.S. population, but own only 4.97% of all stations.
- Minorities make up 33% of the entire U.S. population, but own only 3.26% of all stations.
- Hispanic- or Latino-owned stations reach just 21.8% of the Latino TV households in the United States.
- 92% of African-American TV households are not reached by a black-owned TV station.
- While the level of female and minority ownership has advanced in other sectors since the late 1990s, it has worsened in the broadcast industry.