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Black, Asian Broadcast Ownership Dips

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

African Americans Own Just 10 of 1,348 TV Stations

Boston Globe's Baron to Lead Washington Post

Romney Says Obama Bestowed "Gifts" to His Base

Trymaine Lee Leaves Huffington Post for MSNBC

Rick Sanchez to Join New MundoFox Network

U.S. Africa Command Creates News Websites in Propaganda Effort

Holmes Show Not Headed for Cancellation, BET Says

Burt-Murray Resurfaces With Site for Young Women

Marion Barry Tweaks Alternative Paper on Diversity

Short Takes

Catherine L. (Cathy) Hughes, shown with actor Denzel Washington, is founder and

African Americans Own Just 10 of 1,348 TV Stations

"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,' " Joe Flint wrote Wednesday for the Los Angeles Times.

"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."

Translating the percentages into numbers, John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable wrote that people of color "owned only 30 full-power TV stations in 2009 and that number was the same in 2011.

"African-American ownership dropped from 12 stations in 2009 to 10 stations in 2011, or less than 1% of the total. Ownership of the balance of the 30 stations (about 1.5% of the total) was spread among Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Asians and others.

"Hispanics and Latinos . . . saw their ownership climb from 30 stations in 2009 to 39 in 2011, or 2.9% of the total. Hispanics represent 16.7% of the population, according to the Census.

" . . . The report does not get into why those minority ownership figures have not significantly improved, or in some cases declined."

The Free Press media advocacy group said in a statement, "If accurate, these data are largely in line with Free Press' studies from 2007, Out of the Picture and Off the Dial, until today the only thorough accounting of female and minority broadcast ownership.

"Despite the extremely low levels of female and minority ownership, the FCC is currently proposing relaxing its cross-ownership rule, which includes limits on ownership of television stations and newspapers in the same market. These appear to be the very same rule changes that former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin proposed in 2007 and that the public, Congress and a federal appeals court subsequently rejected. The FCC reportedly plans to vote on its latest round of proposed ownership rules before the end of the year.

"In 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit threw out the agency's 2007 effort to weaken the cross-ownership rule. In its decision, the court instructed the agency to first evaluate the impact of any rule changes on female and minority owners, who historically have been underrepresented in ownership of radio and television stations, before considering rule changes. The data released today counts who owns what but fails to address the impact of rule changes or meet the court's demands."

Craig Aaron, Free Press president and CEO, asked, ". . . Why is this FCC contemplating a giveaway to the nation's largest media conglomerates when much of the rest of the industry has turned away from the failed consolidation model? Why would the FCC push forward a plan that has no purpose and little support when it could do so much harm? Why does this agency keep dodging the issue of diversity when they have the power to actually do something about it?"

In April, Boston Globe Editor Martin Baron looked on as film critic Wesley Morri

Boston Globe's Baron to Lead Washington Post

Journal-isms asked Martin Baron, the Boston Globe editor named Tuesday to be the next executive editor of the Washington Post, to articulate his philosophy on newsroom diversity.

"I believe in diversity of coverage and diversity of staff," Baron said by email on Wednesday. "It's vital that we cover people in every corner of our community — their concerns, their interests, their daily lives. We also need people on staff who see the world through distinct perspectives. They come from different backgrounds, and they detect stories that others might not see. All of this enriches our journalism and makes us more relevant to those we aim to attract as readers. Over time, it means we serve our communities better."

Baron succeeds Marcus Brauchli, executive editor for the last four years, who is to remain with the Post company as a vice president evaluating new media opportunities. Brauchli's departure was rumored for months and news organizations, in reporting the change, noted tensions between Brauchli and Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth. "The relationship between Ms. Weymouth and Mr. Brauchli chilled as she pushed him to make newsroom cuts he was uncomfortable with, according to people in the newsroom familiar with the discussions," Christine Haughney reported Tuesday for the New York Times.

From his 2008 appointment onward, Brauchli spoke unhesitatingly of his belief in diversity, at one point noting that he was the only white male in top newsroom management. That circle included Managing Editor Liz Spayd; Managing Editor Raju Narisetti, who is of South Asian background and has since returned to the Wall Street Journal; Sandy Sugawara, an Asian American who founded the universal desk and is now managing editor of WaPo Labs; Milton Coleman, an African American who is senior editor; and Shirley Carswell, a black journalist who is deputy managing editor.

However, some staff members complained that the diversity was not evenly spread throughout the newsroom.

The Post and the Globe reported similar statistics to the American Society of News Editors for its annual census. This year, each reported 8.0 percent Asian American and 3.8 percent Hispanic journalists. However, the Post had more black journalists, 12.9 percent, to the Globe's 8.9 percent. The Post additionally reported .05 percent American Indians.

When the Globe was reported planning newsroom cuts in 2009, local chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association jointly urged Baron to consider diversity. "For a city as diverse as Boston, where nearly half of its residents are people of color, a newsroom with a sizable percentage of Latino, African American, and Asian American staff is critical to providing accurate coverage of those communities that still lack decent media exposure," they wrote.

In 2005, when the staff was again downsized, Baron said the paper "worked very hard" to minimize the impact on newsroom diversity, but lost Kenneth J. Cooper, who as national editor was the paper's highest-ranking African American line editor.

Jube Shiver Jr., a retired black journalist who worked with Baron at the Los Angeles Times, told Journal-isms by email, "Marty was a very tough, but fair editor, when I worked for him at the Los Angeles Times. But Washington is a very different city than Boston, Miami and Los Angeles. Addressing diversity isn't solely a numbers game, it's about the particular sensibilities and history of the workplace you are in. There perhaps is no more storied a newsroom — both journalistically and racially — than the Washington Post and Marty will have to grapple with that."

Romney Says Obama Bestowed "Gifts" to His Base

President Obama invoked the middle class 22 times Wednesday during his first full news conference since March, as Mitt Romney blamed his own overwhelming electoral loss on what he said were big "gifts" that the president had bestowed on loyal Democratic constituencies —including young voters, African-Americans and Hispanics.

"In a conference call on Wednesday afternoon with his national finance committee, Mr. Romney said that the president had followed the 'old playbook' of wooing specific interest groups — 'especially the African-American community, the Hispanic community and young people,' Mr. Romney explained — with targeted gifts and initiatives," Ashley Parker reported Wednesday for the New York Times.

" 'In each case they were very generous in what they gave to those groups,' Mr. Romney said . . ."

James Rainey wrote for the Los Angeles Times, "The first time Romney held forth on America's moocher class, video captured the moment. This time, on Wednesday, it was the L.A. Times's Maeve Reston and a New York Times reporter listening in as the Republican presidential nominee again delivered his version of the truth. And again, the audience consisted of the candidate's fat-cat donors."

At his news conference, Obama "even worked the plight of average Americans into questions — like one about climate change — that didn't directly pertain to the economy. Obama argued that Congress should not 'hold the middle class hostage' — by refusing to extend tax cuts first approved under President George W. Bush, just to also extend tax cuts for the wealthy," Rainey reported separately.

Obama called on Lori Montenegro of Telemundo for the third question of the news conference, bypassing Reuters, Bloomberg, and other major networks, the Wall Street Journal noted. 

"When's the last time Telemundo got a question near the top of a presidential news conference?" Mark Silva of Bloomberg News asked.

"What was the Hispanic vote for president on Nov. 6?

"President Barack Obama 71 percent, Republican Mitt Romney 27 percent.

"Immigration reform, the president told his Telemundo questioner at a White House news conference today, is on the way."

From the left, activists Cornel West and Tavis Smiley continued to push Obama to address black interests. "I'm hoping now for all those Black people who kept saying, 'Let him get a second term,' that we are mature enough and politically sophisticated enough to lovingly and respectfully push him to be a greater president, Smiley told Ebony.

In an appearance this week on Pacifica radio's "Democracy, Now!" West had "very harsh words for Al Sharpton, Melissa Harris-Perry and frequent MSNBC guest host Michael Eric Dyson as apologists for the Obama administration, Jack Mirkinson reported for the Huffington Post. "I love Brother Mike Dyson, but we're living in a society where everybody is up for sale," West said. 

Obama was not the popular favorite among the celebrity panelists who were convened to recommend Time magazine's annual "Person of the Year," although Time has a track record of picking newly elected or reelected presidents for the distinction, Joe Pompeo reported Tuesday for

Trymaine Lee Leaves Huffington Post for MSNBC

Trymaine Lee, who joined Huffington Post last year and helped elevate the Trayvon Martin killing to national prominence, has left the website for MSNBC, Lee told Journal-isms on Tuesday.

"My last day was Nov. 1," Lee said by email. "I'll be joining MSNBC as a national reporter for the network's new website later this month. This new adventure offers a great opportunity to write about important issues that I care about, but it also offers the opportunity to reach a wider audience through the networks television programming. My main focus will be writing, but there's also the expectation that I'll have a presence, to one degree or another, on the television side when it makes sense."

Trymaine Lee

Lee came to the Huffington Post after covering Harlem as an intermediate reporter on the New York Times Metro desk. "Prior to joining The Times in late 2006, he was a staff writer at the Times-Picayune newspaper in New Orleans, where he was part of a team that won a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Hurricane Katrina coverage," a bio says. "He also contributed reporting to the Times's 2009 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news coverage of the Eliot Spitzer scandal and is a past recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists Emerging Journalist of the Year Award."

Early next year, is to be reborn as a stand-alone site for the cable channel MSNBC, Brian Stelter reported in July for the Times.

In addition, "The NBCUniversal News Group has announced that iVillage will be run as part of its portfolio of digital news operations and that it will be overseen by Vivian Schiller, senior VP and chief digital officer at NBC News, who leads NBC News Digital," George Winslow reported Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable.

". . . The NBC News Digital portfolio now includes iVillage,,,,,,,, and as well as a wide variety of apps and other digital properties tied to those sites."

Rick Sanchez to Join New MundoFox Network

"Rick Sanchez, the former CNN news anchor, will join the national news team of MundoFox, the newest Spanish-language network in the United States," Tanzina Vega reported Tuesday for the New York Times.

Rick Sanchez

"Mr. Sanchez, who is bilingual, will contribute daily segments to the network in Spanish and will also host several news specials a year. He will be based in Miami."

". . . 'I'm excited about MundoFox especially because MundoFox is really about the conversation that we've had about reaching out to that highly interactive first-, second- and third-generation Latino who reside in the United States and who, for the most part, have not been represented in the dissemination of news in the Unites States,' Mr. Sanchez said in an interview.

". . . Mr. Sanchez, who has been a vocal critic of the lack of diversity in the news media, said he considered the rates of diversity today 'somewhere in between weak and deplorable.'

". . . In 2010, Mr. Sanchez was fired from CNN after he commented during a radio interview that Jon Stewart, the host of 'The Daily Show' on Comedy Central, was a bigot and that 'everybody that runs CNN is a lot like Stewart.' "

A week later, Sanchez appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" and said his comments were wrong and offensive, but added that "I went into the interview with a chip on my shoulder" because of the lack of Hispanics, Asian Americans or African Americans hosting prime-time news shows on the mainstream cable networks.

U.S. Africa Command Creates News Websites in Propaganda Effort

"The website's headlines trumpet al-Shabab's imminent demise and describe an American jihadist fretting over insurgent infighting. At first glance it appears to be a sleek Horn of Africa news site. But the site — — is run by the U.S. military," Jason Straziuso reported from Nairobi, Kenya, Tuesday for the Associated Press.

"The site, and another one like it that centers on northwest Africa, is part of a propaganda effort by the U.S. military's Africa Command aimed at countering extremists in two of Africa's most dangerous regions — Somalia and the Maghreb.

"Omar Faruk Osman, the secretary-general of the National Union of Somali Journalists, said Sabahi is the first website he's seen devoted to countering the militants' message.

" 'We have seen portal services by al-Shabab for hate and for propaganda, for spreading violence. We are used to seeing that. In contrast we have not seen such news sites before. So it is something completely unique,' Osman said.

"But although he had noticed prominent articles on the site, which is advertising heavily on other websites, he had not realized it was bankrolled by the U.S. military.

"The U.S. military and State Department, a partner on the project, say the goal of the sites is to counter propaganda from extremists 'by offering accurate, balanced and forward-looking coverage of developments in the region.' "

". . . The site clearly says under the 'About' section that it is run by the U.S. military, but many readers may not go to that link."

Holmes Show Not Headed for Cancellation, BET Says

Although BET has moved the T.J. Holmes late-night show "Don't Sleep" from half an hour four times a week to an hour once a week, the network's decision is not the first step toward cancellation, Stephen G. Hill, BET's president for music programming and specials, told Jawn Murray for Murray's

"You can check your Twitter hashtag for #BETDontSleep," Hill said. "The number of people who have asked for this show to be one hour is incredible. That is absolutely for real. Because of other commitments, we couldn't do an hour nightly. We also weren't getting as deep into issues as we wanted to in a half of an hour. If it was going to be canceled, the show would have just been canceled. What we really want to do is make a great weekly show that digs a bit deeper and respects our audience's intelligence by getting into subjects with real meaning in a meaningful way. Having an hour weekly is the way we're hoping to get that done."

Burt-Murray Resurfaces With Site for Young Women

Angela Burt-Murray, the former Essence editor who worked briefly afterward at the Huffington Post planning a black-oriented project, has resurfaced as a co-founder of a "new high-quality digital network aimed at young women of color,," according to a news release from the company.

" is a dynamic celebrity news and style site covering urban pop culture. With up-to-the-minute news, exclusive interviews, fashion and beauty trends, red carpet photos, vibrant social media engagement and original weekly web series the team plugs their audience of pop culture obsessives into the daily conversation about fashion, music, movies, TV and the stars they love," the release continues. "The site will launch with a target of 100,000 unique visitors per month; present six original weekly web series focused on entertainment and style; and offer an array of original and aggregated content online and via social media."

Murray is working with Shelly Jones Jennings, described as a leading digital media strategist. Burt-Murray left Essence magazine in November 2010 after editing it for five years.

Marion Barry Tweaks Alternative Paper on Diversity

The alternative Washington City Paper long ago dubbed Marion Barry "mayor for life" and has been one of the chief media critics of the former mayor, now a District of Columbia Council member.

Barry found an opportunity to strike back via Twitter on Tuesday. "@mikemadden I just realized YOU were the recipient of my 2000th tweet! Go figure?? In honor, pls tell me somethin good bout wcp diversity :)," Barry wrote, addressing Mike Madden, the paper's editor.

Madden replied, "@marionbarryjr That is quite an honor. We continue to aim to diversify our staff, but our industry in general lacks diversity..."

Asked for the specifics on the diversity of its editorial staff, Madden messaged Journal-isms, "Our editorial staff consists of 12 people. Of those, one is black; the rest are white. Our roster of freelance contributors, who write roughly half of our copy in any given week between our blogs and our print edition, is a bit more diverse.

"As I told Barry this summer in our office and on Twitter this week, I agree with him on this — I'd like our staff to better reflect our city's demographics, and when we do have openings, we encourage journalists of all racial and ethnic backgrounds to apply."

Last year, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia, of which the Washington City Paper is a member, staged a panel at its annual convention, "Why Are Your Readers So White?"

Short Takes

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Cross-postings from the Root


It's Amazing/Awsome, that we own any at all, or any Significant Businesses at all, we have a very difficult time just breaking free from the Institution of Oppression, Slavery, Poverty and Disenfrachisement, and when the Talented, Successful, Fortunate, Prominent and Progressive Black People are in a position to lend a helping hand and uplift and assist another Black person or other Black people to get into the position to become a Business Owner and so on, they have no interest in doing so.

I don't know about the experiences of the other Black People on this site, but I have lived/existed in some of the roughest, toughest so called Black Ghettos in this country, and I have come to realize that my People are self-centered, self-serving and don't really give a damn about the less fortunate Black People.

In other words we are the reason we are not making more/meaningful headway and progress. I've even heard a phrase made famous over the years, I've got mine, now N____r you go get yours, and that N____r isn't going to get rich off of my money, take a look around you, don't you my People see the White People have a system in place, to create Jobs, Businesses and Opportunities for themselves, and their own people, and then some.

The Asian People create Jobs, Businesses and Opportunities for themselves, and the Latin People create Jobs, Businesses and Opportunities for themselves, if other races of people have an idea to own a Radio Station, TV Station or any kind of Business they more than likely can go to a representative of their own and pitch that idea, and if a Black Person is interested in doing the same, more often then not we have to pitch that idea to someone from another race.

White People own several National Banking/Financial Institutions, Asian People own Banks, Latin People own Banks, and with the hundreds of Billions of dollars that pass through the hands of Black People we have no National Banking and Financial system so it's Amazing/Awsome that we own 10 to 13 Businesses of any kind or type.

Tavis Smiley made an Observation, that during the days of slavery 93% of Black People work for other People, and over 100 years later 93% of Black People work for other People, because we are more interested in becoming the World's Greatest Consumers and we don't want to be or can't be Business owners and Job Creators.


"Blacks Own Just 10 of 1,348 TV Stations"

I expected the article to indicate that Blacks, Asians, etc., are being denied ownership. Appears they simply may not consider owning TV stations to be profitable investments.

john smith Blacks are only 12% of the population, not a bad figure 10. How many do Asians own? How many American Indians own ? So 10 for Blacks, is that bad ??

john smith Was it because of Affirmative Action or Diversity programs that they have 10 ??

Did they get any loans from the Govt , special programs or other wise ???

Did they get any loans from banks under special program conditions?

Where did they get their investment capital from?

I dont know, just asking.


" . . . The report does not get into why those minority ownership figures have not significantly improved, or in some cases declined."

And that's the issue. Who cares about these statistics when they don't even address whats happening? Maybe black investors have been spending their money elsewhere. Maybe TV stations in general aren't very profitable, or aren't worth the hassle. I would care about statistics addressing minority business ownership in general, not something specific, like "minority hardware store ownership." How relevant is it to know the number of black people that own television stations, the number of Hispanics that own pet grooming salons, or the number of Whites who own falafel stands?

Kashiwa likes this.

Keith Bey

"Blacks" don't own anything!!! "Blacks" are chattel property, traded as real estate on the stock market under the 14th Amendment. Refer to the 'Christian Black Codes of 1705, 1724, etc.' and the "Negro Acts," which is still practiced today in the courts. Please Note: Property CANNOT own property (this is contract Law). Those who call themselves "black," "negro," "African American," etc. MUST declare themselves as Natural people, also declare their nationality (Moor) and honor the names/titles (primarily surnames) of their foremothers and forefathers (El, Bey, Ali, Al, Dey, Shabazz, Mohammed, Abdul, Yussuf, etc.) to exercise Constitutional Rights. This will allow such people to own property.

Civics 101


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