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Senate Panel Approves Bill to Increase Women, Minority Media Ownership

On December 4, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee approved, by unanimous consent, several bills en bloc, including a bill (S. 2332) to promote transparency in adopting the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) new media ownership rules and increase the representation of women and minorities in broadcast media ownership.

Sponsored by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), S. 2332 would establish an independent panel on women and minority broadcast media ownership that would make recommendations to the FCC for rules to increase the representation of women and minorities in such ownership. The FCC would be required to conduct a census of gender and race of those holding controlling interests in broadcast station licenses and study the impact of media market concentration on the women and minority media ownership. The FCC must report the results of the census and the media market concentration study to the independent panel before the panel can make its recommendations to the FCC. The FCC then would be required to act upon the recommendations before changing any broadcast and newspaper ownership rules.

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