Why Only 10 Black-Owned Television Stations Are Left

Why Blacks Own Just 10 U.S. Television Stations

It wasn't until the 1930s that experimental broadcast stations began producing television programming, and they were all owned by white men. It took another 40 years, until the 1970s, for black-owned television stations to appear. This was primarily the result of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) “Minority Ownership Policy” that offered tax incentives to anyone wanting to sell stations to minority owners.

The downward spiral

The new policy worked well and increased black-owned television stations to about 50. So, why are there just 10 remaining today? In 1995, the policy was voted down by Congress. In addition, more and more large media companies began buying up smaller ones, creating conglomerates that were just too much competition for many small and black-owned television stations.

According to Business Insider, six corporations today own 90 percent of the media in the U.S. The six companies include GE, News Corp, Disney, Viacom, Time Warner and CBS. As of data released in 2013, minorities own just 6 percent of commercial television stations in the country. This includes cable network Black Entertainment Television (now owned by Viacom) launched in 1980 and TV One introduced in 1995.

Other issues

According to James Winston, president of the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, there are other issues, too. White males were in a better position to buy up stations because they had more money and were able to keep up on the technology that enabled them to run successful television stations. He continued to explain that African Americans came into the business world late which clearly placed them at a disadvantage.

Read more by visiting www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/08/17/blacks-own-just-10-u-s-television-stations-heres-why/
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