We are witnessing the very serious decline of black radio, in general, and black-owned radio, in particular. This is happening at a time when blacks can ill afford to be without a voice in the marketplace of ideas. With the hateful indifference to blacks that dominates so much of what is considered mainstream media, blacks must have access to social, political, esthetic and cultural expressions that are born of the black experience.
It is important to take into account the factors that have made black radio so vulnerable. Two major contributing factors are the 1990 Bill Clinton telecommunications Act and the bias inherent in the radio ratings system, whose incorrect information has consistently deprived black radio of a fair share of advertising revenue, leading to the financial demise of a number of black-owned radio stations throughout the nation.
It is at the Federal Communications Commission, however, where these destructive factors find their greatest support. One of the reasons why these and other unfair business practices persist is that the mega corporations, when taking advantage of black stations that find themselves forced into irreversible decline, are assured that the FCC will grant them the stations’ broadcast licenses, in spite of what often appears to be unethical and perhaps even illegal behavior. (South Florida Times)
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