When President Barack Obama became the first black president, African-Americans owned few commercial television stations in the United States. Obama pledged to encourage more diversity in broadcast media ownership. And yet, the state of African-American ownership of TV stations has reached a dramatic nadir during his administration.
Two years before Obama was first elected to the White House, there were only 18 full-power TV stations owned by African-Americans. This total represented just 1.3% of all such stations in the country.
By the end of his first term in office, those 18 had declined to only five stations. And as of this month, the number has fallen all the way to zero.
“This sorry state of affairs is the culmination of a trend that started in the late 1990s when Congress and the Federal Communications Commission [FCC] allowed massive consolidation in the broadcasting industry,” Joseph Torres and S. Derek Turner wrote for New America Media. (All Gov)