Minority Broadcasters Seek Government Assistance

A group of more than a dozen minority broadcast groups are seeking financial assistance from the government. In a letter to U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner dated Sunday, July 12, Bustos Media, Entravision Communications, Multicultural Broadcasting Companies, Spanish Broadcasting System, Inner City Broadcasting, the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters and several others, warned that their business was “close to becoming an extinct species” without government assistance.

Many minority broadcasters are on the brink of financial failure. “Financial foreclosure will roll back decades of work by the federal government to encourage more minority voices in the broadcasting industry,” the broadcasters wrote.

The letter from the broadcasters follows a similar plea sent last month from a group of Congressional leaders headed by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, who urged minority broadcasters be afforded consideration for federal assistance and federal investment.

In addition to blaming the recession and credit crisis, the broadcasters cited a number of other factors that are having a detrimental effect on their business including “no-minority dictates by advertisers,” “changes in Arbitron audience measurement,” “deflated ad pricing” and the collapse of the automotive advertising category.