Federal Communications Commission

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,, 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)

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