Federal Communications Commission
COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCELRe:
Broadcast Media Ownership, Diversity and Joint Sales Agreements, MB Docket Nos. 14-50, 09-
182, 07-294, 04-256.
Media ownership matters. It matters because it plays a powerful part in shaping who we are as
individuals, as communities, and as a nation.
So today we begin our most recent quadrennial review of our media ownership rules at a time
when every one of us here can acknowledge the landscape is changing. The ways we create, distribute,
and consume content are different. Information is now more plentiful than ever before. Anyone with
Internet access has his or her own digital printing press, and this is exciting.
Still, despite all this change, there is something unique about local broadcasting. Local
broadcasting remains the dominant force in local news. It has special status under the law—and we have
special duties under the law to ensure that the use of our airwaves is consistent with the values of
localism, competition, and diversity.
As we begin this round of review of our media ownership policies, there has been an unusual
amount of attention paid to female and minority ownership of commercial broadcasting. Although our
efforts to restrict Joint Sales Agreements have jumpstarted this conversation, there seems to be broad
agreement among my colleagues, members of Congress, and many broadcasters that women and minority
ownership of broadcast assets matters. This consensus is a good thing.
After all, the number of women and minority owners and operators of full power, commercial
broadcast stations can only be described as unacceptably low. So we need policies that help bring us
beyond the status quo. I hope the steps we take today will make a difference. I hope they are effective.
But I am open—open to new ideas on how to boost women and minority ownership; open to data that
moves beyond intuition and anecdotal accounts; open to the best ideas put forward by all stakeholders—
from civil rights groups to minority business advocates to broadcasters and to members of Congress.
I thank my colleagues for their vigorous interest in these issues and thank the Media Bureau for
their hard work on this issue that matters so much to so many of us.
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