Minorities seem to be getting pushed out as buyers of radio and TV outlets and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) is concerned, reports Target Market News. Fewer minority buyers could lead to a diminished minority voice in media.
Some of the recent deals include the $373-million Sinclair acquisition of 19 TV stations and three radio stations from Fisher Communications; $370 million Sinclair acquisition of 18 stations and six SSA stations from Barrington Broadcast Group; and $2.2 -billion Gannett Company acquisition of 20 TV stations and seven LMA stations from Belo Corporation.
The lack of black media buyers, says the organization, is worse today than more than three decades ago.
“The station trading picture looks much like it did in 1978, before the FCC established the minority tax certificate,” said Jim Winston, executive director of NABOB to Target Market News. “In radio, within the past year, no less than 20 radio stations that were owned by African Americans were forced into bankruptcy by their lenders and have subsequently been sold to non-minority purchasers.”
The problem is the failure of lenders to reach out to minority purchasers. Radio says the NABOB, has regressed back to a time when minorities were never given an opportunity to station owners.
“The potential impact on the African American community cannot be overstated,” said Winston. “We are losing our voices, sale by sale. Now, the television trading market has become red-hot, but no black companies are showing up as buyers in the television trading frenzy either.”
The NABOB plans to fight against this alarming trend. “The deals all must obtain approval from the FCC,” Winston said. “NABOB will ask the Commission to consider the potential impact of this string of large transactions on minority ownership and will ask the Commission, once again, to take steps to create policies that promote opportunities for minority owners.”
NABOB will also address this issue at its upcoming conference Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C.