FCC Confused About Conflicting Aims

Ars has a good piece today on the FCC’s lack of clarity about its own minority broadcasting rules. Apparently, to avoid mandating discrimination based on race, the FCC has elected to mandate discrimination based on size – the size of the broadcaster. This has the Diversity in Competition Supporters (DCS) upset, because minority-owned does not equal small. Notably, DCS also points out that the FCC’s minority-ownership rules come into conflict with another of its rules: its 25% cap on foreign investment in US broadcasting firms. DCS argues that this shuts minority broadcasters out of possibilities for acquiring the capital they need.

Yet another example of James Gattuso’s point about the FCC’s conflicting feel-good mandates: you can’t have your minority ownership and your localism too.