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FCC Opposes Black Conservative TV Ownership

From the Washington Times:

FCC targets black conservative in TV station fight

By Phillip Swarts | March 10, 2014

For years, the Federal Communications Commission has allowed TV stations to execute joint operating agreements allowing themselves to outsource tasks such as advertising sales to group owners with more resources.

But when conservative columnist and entrepreneur Armstrong Williams recently purchased two stations, making him one of America’s few black owners of local TV affiliates, the commission unexpectedly decided to use his acquisition as a test case to review the practice.

The actions — coupled with other recent FCC decisions such as a plan to survey newsrooms that alarmed news media before it was withdrawn — have injected questions about whether a commission set up by Congress to be nonpartisan is now acting with a political litmus test under the Obama administration.

At the very least this is proof that the FCC’s push for monitors in the news rooms has nothing to do with expanding minority ownership. It’s only about expanding liberal ownership and liberal control of the media. ‘Diversity’ is merely being used as fig leaf here.

Just ask yourself: if blacks were vastly conservative, would the FCC be pushing for more minority ownership? Of course not.

The FCC, backed by the Obama administration Justice Department, argues that broadcasters have used the shared-service, or “sidecar,” arrangements to circumvent long-standing rules against owning multiple television stations in a single market, allowing them to raise ad prices and weaken market competition. But critics say the effects of the rules — which could be taken up at the commission’s next meeting March 31 — on owners such as Mr. Williams suggest a more partisan motive.

Fox News analyst Juan Williams, a friend of Mr. Williams, raised the issue of partisanship in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published Monday. “My suspicion is that liberals at the FCC who claim to be interested in promoting diverse broadcast ownership lose interest if the owner is a conservative like Armstrong Williams,” Juan Williams wrote. “They want diversity — but not of the political kind.”

In fact, the FCC really doesn’t care about diversity. They simply want more liberal control of the news media. And if they can achieve that through promoting diversity of skin color, then they will promote diversity of skin color.

Armstrong Williams, a Washington Times columnist and conservative radio and TV show host, signed a sidecar agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group when he purchased stations in South Carolina and Michigan in the past year. The nation’s other black station owner, the historically black Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss., has a similar sidecar deal with American Spirit Media.

Under his deal, Mr. Williams bought the stations from Sinclair and operates them separately, but allows Sinclair to sell advertising and provide other support for his small staff. Sinclair makes money by keeping a percentage of the ads it sells for Mr. Williams‘ stations.

The FCC has begun investigating the arrangement to determine whether Sinclair was having too much influence through the agreements and thus in danger of exceeding market cap ratios that the commission imposes on TV station owners. Mr. Williams met with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn last week, and Mr. Williams made the case for continuing the shared-services agreements between his company, Howard Stirk Holdings, and Sinclair.

Well, we can be sure Mr. Williams will get a fair hearing from Mignon Clyburn, the daughter of James Clyburn. His conservatism won’t be held against him. Especially since he is black.

FCC officials declined to discuss why they wanted to suddenly look at the issue of joint operating agreements, with a spokesman saying only that commissioners felt it was time to review a policy that hadn’t been checked in a while…

We’re willing to take a wild guess.

Ajit Pai, one of the two Republican appointees on the five-member FCC, defended the sidecar deal signed by Tougaloo for WDBD-TV, its station in Jackson, Miss.

“The college,” he wrote in a March 5 statement, “is no shell corporation, and [WLOO-TV General Manager Pervis] Parker is no rubber-stamp for WDBD. Tougaloo and Mr. Parker are independent innovators whose JSA gives them the breathing space to create something where nothing would exist otherwise.” …

Mr. Williams pointedly warned that if the FCC negates joint sales and shared services agreements, it ultimately will destroy diversity of ownership because small minority owners of any race and background can’t afford to compete with big conglomerates that have economies of scale.

“I’m ecstatic and blessed that I have a partner in [Sinclair Chairman] David Smith and Sinclair Broadcast that helps with the financial burdens through a joint sales agreement,” he said. “Without them, I would never have gotten a loan from the bank, and my stations would eventually have gone away from the public because they would have been bankrupt without these arrangements.” …

In other words, these ‘sidecar deals’ help promote diversity. So how can anyone oppose them? Is the FCC racist?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “FCC Opposes Black Conservative TV Ownership”

  1. canary

    Juan Williams has turned into a liberal defending Obama at every turn to a point of being irrational. I certainly hope he doesn’t consider himself to be a conservative. Perhaps he saw all this coming as will have his own show on liberal
    controlled television for conistency in sucking up to Obama.

  2. Repeating my 2014 Theme -“To Democrats, Progressives, Liberals and all their fellow traveler cronies .. when the worm turns, and it will, it always does, in the aftermath your life will suck to such a degree poets from Olden Times will stutter at their paucity of suitable phrases to illustrate the depths of your demise and despair. It is then we will remind you .. you were warned. You Were Warned. But you took this road anyway ..”

  3. canary

    NBC (MSNBC) has no problem in defying the FCC, they are picking up liberal partnerships with different names and hash tags nearly every day. I guess they will be our one newsource as dictatorhip in the US grows.

    NBC: the National Broadcaster of Commuism (self exclamatory)

    • captstubby

      you give NBC too much credit.

      it takes some intellectual though process to understand the Marxist Theory.

      that’s why they leave it to CBS.

      its much simpler to be The Official Network of The Democrat Party.
      ” all the philosophy needed to fit on a bumper sticker.”




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