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Author Archive

Roundtable on Broadband and New Media Strategies for Minority Radio

January 26th, 2010 by Thomas Reed - Director, Office of Communications Business Opportunities.

Minorities comprised one-third of the overall U.S. population in 2009.  Yet they control only 815 radio stations out of a total of 11,249 operating in the US – just 7.24%.  Today, small, local and minority-owned radio stations are struggling to stay afloat in the current economic crisis and in a marketplace where the Internet is getting a larger and larger bite of the advertising apple.  Bankruptcies in the radio industry are at record numbers; and while no group, minority or otherwise, is immune to the economic downturn, minority radio has been hit particularly hard.  As a result, we will likely see a continued decline in the percentage of minority ownership in radio.  Despite these troubling circumstances, minority radio continues to inform and entertain its listeners and provide the type of viewpoint diversity that is essential to a robust marketplace of ideas and voices on the airwaves.        

On Tuesday, the FCC’s Office of Communications and Business Opportunities held an interactive round-table discussion entitled “Broadband and New Media Strategies for Minority Radio.”  The workshop explored digital and new media applications that present the most promising opportunities for radio.  We looked at innovative ideas that could augment radio service areas, increase the size of listening audiences, and create multiple streams of income for small/local/minority radio.  We also examined the role minority-owned radio continues to play in supplying news content, politics, and entertainment to communities around the country that still lack broadband access.  We asked a diverse group of experts to share their thoughts on these important topics and had a dynamic conversation.  Video of the roundtable will be available soon on our web site.

Below is a list of our roundtable participants: 

Mario Armstrong, Radio Host, XM/Sirius radio, USTalkNetwork.com, WYPR & WEAA

Eric Broyles, Founder and CEO, Megree, Inc.

Frank Flores, Chief Revenue Officer of the radio segment and General Manager, Spanish Broadcasting Systems

Anita Stephens Graham
, Partner, Opportunity Capital Partners

Zemira Jones, President /CEO of All American Management Group, Inc.

James L. Winston, Executive Director, National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB)

Candida Mobley-Wright, President, Voices, Inc. 

Frank Montero, Co- Managing Partner with the law Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth

Cleveland Spears, Producer/Radio Host/General Manager, iM4radio Broadcasting Network

Loris Ann Taylor
, Executive Director, Native Public Media

Carolyn Fleming-Williams, Senior Deputy Director, Office of Communications Business Opportunities, FCC (moderator)

Rick Wade, Acting Chief of Staff, Department of Commerce (co-moderator)

Broadband Opportunities for Disadvantaged Businesses

August 21st, 2009 by Thomas Reed - Director, Office of Communications Business Opportunities.

On August 18, the FCC conducted its Broadband Workshop on "Opportunities for Disadvantaged Businesses, which examined whether small and disadvantaged businesses are ready to take advantage of new and existing broadband technologies.

 

The Commission and its web viewers were fortunate to have an array of talent and knowledge displayed throughout the afternoon.  The first panel consisted of representatives from various Chambers of Commerce, from the SBA, and from business leaders familiar with the broadband needs of rural communities.  These panelists discussed what is currently known about broadband technology in their constituent communities, and how they can assist small and disadvantaged businesses in their effort to increase broadband adoption.  The small and disadvantaged business community requires services developed with a focus on local communities.  Although broadband technology represents an additional cost for small businesses, without these technologies, their businesses may be unsustainable in the modern marketplace.  Hopefully, we can avoid this Catch 22.

 

The second panel consisted of small business leaders who are in the technology solutions business.  These panelists discussed the various ways they help businesses grow by using broadband technology.  They stressed the need for digital literacy and how we must make broadband relevant in the daily lives of people in unserved and underserved communities and not just for entertainment purposes.

 

The third and final panel consisted of entrepreneurs who currently own and operate small businesses that use broadband technology to remain competitive in their industries.  They represent the proof that broadband technology is working well for those with good ideas that need to be brought to the marketplace; that broadband technology is essential for enabling new businesses to flourish without a brick and mortar presence; and that it can be inexpensive and easy to create businesses on the Internet.

 

As the February 2010 deadline approaches for sending the National Broadband Plan to Congress, it is critical that we identify the ways in which broadband access and availability impact small and disadvantaged businesses.  We are looking forward to continuing our conversation with stakeholders in the small and disadvantaged business community.



Capture The Phone Numbers Using Your Camera Phone

If you have a camera and a 2D matrix code reader on your mobile phone, you can capture the FCC Phone numbers right to your phone by following these three easy steps:
Step 1: Take a photograph of one of the codes below using the camera on your mobile phone.
Step 2: Use your phone's Datamatrix or QR Code reader to decode the information on the photograph. Please note, these code readers are device specific and are available to download on the internet.
Step 3: Store the decoded address information to your phone's address book and use it with your Maps or GPS application.

Datamatrix and QR FCC Phones