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FCC Diversity Policy Ruled Unconstitutional

April 15, 1998|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — A federal requirement that broadcasters hire racial and ethnic minorities was ruled unconstitutional by an appeals court Tuesday, a setback for efforts to bring more diversity to radio and TV stations.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the Federal Communications Commission had failed to explain how its equal employment opportunities regulations served the public interest--the standard the FCC used when it adopted the rules in the late 1960s.

Any effect on minority hiring probably won't be immediate, broadcast attorneys said. Although the ruling did not address FCC policies designed to foster employment of women, broadcast attorneys said it could make those rules vulnerable to legal attack too.

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