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FCC media ownership survey reveals lack of diversity

November 14, 2012|By Joe Flint
  • The FCC, headed by Julius Genachowski, released results of a media ownership survey.
The FCC, headed by Julius Genachowski, released results of a media ownership… (Bloomberg )

Bill O'Reilly can breathe a little easier.

Last week while speaking about the reelection of President Obama, the Fox News commentator said, "The white establishment is now the minority." 

But when it comes to who owns the nation's TV and radio stations, whites -- and white males in particular -- are still the majority.

The Federal Communications Commission just released its report on the ownership of commercial broadcast stations which reveals that as of 2011, whites own 69.4% of the nation's 1,348 television stations. That's up from 63.4% in 2009, when there were 1,187 stations. 

While white ownership increased, most minority ownership decreased. Blacks went from owning 1% of all commercial TV stations in 2009 to just 0.7% in 2011. Asian ownership slipped from 0.8% in 2009 to 0.5% last year. Latino ownership increased slightly from 2.5% to 2.9%.

Females owned 6.8% of all commercial TV stations in 2011, compared to 5.6% in 2009.

It is a similar story in radio. Whites own almost 80% of all AM and FM radio stations, with more than 70% being owned by men.

Media watchdog group Free Press said the data indicate that ownership of "broadcast radio and television stations by women and minorities remains at abysmally low levels."

The report comes at a time when the FCC is considering further deregulation of its media ownership rules, which many fear could lead to even less diversity of ownership.

ALSO:

FCC appears likely to ease media ownership rules

Former lobbyist Preston Padden looking for spectrum sellers

Follow Joe Flint on Twitter @JBFlint.

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