Annual Edition 'Buying Power of
Black America' report breaks down billions in expenditures Black
consumers are responding to tighter economic condition by focusing more of
their spending on items and services that improve their homes and
lifestyle. That's one of the trends revealed in the 15th annual report,
"The Buying Power of Black America," published by Target Market News. The
report analyzes spending for black households in 2008 and finds that
Story continued... _________________
2010 by Target Market News Inc. All rights reserved
228 S. Wabash Ave.
Chicago, IL 60604
Commissioners urge minority entrepreneurs to focus on new media By John Eggerton
Broadcasting & Cable (July 19, 2010) Minority communications entrepreneurs should be
focusing on opportunities in new media, said FCC Commissioners at a D.C.
conference Monday, and those commissioners said they are willing to
The other side of that equation is that the opportunities in traditional
media are on the wane, they suggested.
That came at a standing-room only Q&A with a majority of
commissioners--Robert McDowell, Meredith Attwell Baker and, via a
sometimes hinky video link, Mignon Clyburn, at the Minority Media &
Telecom Council's annual Access to Capital in Telecommunications Policy
Conference in Washington Monday.
McDowell said the description of broadcasting as a car with four flat
tires was a "good analogy"--it had been volunteered by a questioner from
the audience. He said there might be opportunities to buy stations,
given lower valuations, but added that that was because revenues were in
decline. "I think the best opportunities are in new media," he said.
"That is where the next generation is going to go."
He talked about the low entry barriers Baker also talked about
opportunities in new media, saying applications will be a $30 billion
business by 2013. "I think there may be value in some of the distressed
broadcast assets," she said, "but to mind the new media is really where
McDowell said more needs to be done at the FCC on diversity, including
defining socially and economically disadvantaged businesses (SDBs) that
would qualify for help, enforcing the minority set-asides in the XM/Sirius
merger (Clyburn suggested there is some movement on that front after
almost two years). But he also outlined progress, including since 2007
some 13 EEO-related Notices of Apparent liability involving 41 stations.
He also pointed to working with advertisers to enforce the FCC's
proscription on so called "no urban" and "no Hispanic" dictates, the
practice of excluding those populations in ad buys. He also pointed to
the FCC's own access to capital events--another one is coming up in the
fall, and its extension of the build-out deadlines for minority-owned
As to a year without an EEO enforcement action, which MMTC cited in a
letter to the FCC slamming it for inaction, McDowell called that letter
very valuable, but also said that in the past 24 months nobody has been
doing much hiring, period. "So, we need to look at how much that is
going to have a correlation with matters that are put before us in terms
of EEO actions."
He pointed out that the FCC has revised its distress-sale policy to
encourage sales to eligible entities, and that it is working with the
Small Business Administration to encourage banks to make SBA-guaranteed
loans in broadcast and telecom deals. The FCC also gives "priority" to
duopoly approval to companies who "incubate" eligible entities.
McDowell also put in a plug for mentoring programs and incentives, as
well as getting unlicensed devices up and running in the TV "white
spaces," saying that WiFi on steroids opportunity could be one for
"There is a lot on that list, he said, "but going forward there is a lot
to do." One of those he suggested, would be giving broadcasters a
carve-out from media ownership rules. "We need to consider modification
or waiver of the local ownership caps for a licensee that operates as an
incubator program for SDBs. All three commissioners agreed that Congress
needs to pass legislation reinstating the tax certificate policy, which
would give media owners a tax break for selling media properties to SDBs.
"I do not understand why Congress has not passed legislation to
reinstitute a new and improved tax certificate program," he said. "This
seems like a no-brainer. Clyburn said she had had meetings on the Hill
and would do what she could. Baker said her concern was about the system
McDowell agreed, but said there were legislative fixes for that. "That
one program alone could make a world of difference," he said.
All three commissioners also said access to capital was the top barrier
to boosting minority participation, but Clyburn said number two on the
list was media consolidation. (That did not make either McDowell or
Baker's list.) "[Consolidation] makes entry more difficult, from a size
and scope standpoint, which boils down to capital availability and being
able to navigate in that space affordably." She said broadband
availability and affordability are major challenges as well.
Baker said she thought the FCC should look at the positive side,
promoting best practices and what is working. "Let's celebrate the good
actors, not only [look at] the bad actors," she said. But Baker also
said one of the diversity barriers was regulatory uncertainty. She
called it "one of the largest problems hanging over this industry." She
thanks MMTC for its position on network neutrality--it has raised
concerns about the impact on investment and the minority community of
expanding and codifying the FCC's openness guidelines.
"I appreciate your stance," she said. "I think the unintended
consequence of the proposed rules is that it may make it harder for new
entrants to compete with the likes of Google with established server
farms and content-delivery networks that can't be easily replicated."
Baker said on the positive side was the FCC's plan to roll out an online
repository of government grant and support programs. "Online resources
are key," she said, given that is where people are increasingly going to
get info on starting a new business. "Speed dating between entrepreneurs
and private equity folks" can be helped by that online database she