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Federal Communications Commission
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

April 7, 1998


Las Vegas -- FCC Chairman William E. Kennard today challenged the broadcast industry to come to the table with creative ideas to foster opportunities in broadcast ownership, employment and training for minorities and women.

Speaking before the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, Kennard said that broadcasting needs to better reflect the mosaic of our country. He said, "The more I find myself committed to promoting the vibrancy that comes with diversely owned media outlets, the more I am increasingly concerned that at a time when the populace is becoming ever more pluralistic, the media is becoming less so."

Kennard said, "I come to you today with a challenge... a challenge to work with me to realize the potential to all Americans. I challenge each one of you, over the next sixty days, to develop ideas to promote opportunity for ownership by minorities and women within the broadcasting industry."

Kennard said that digital television will be "broadcasters' entree into the world of broadband access to the home," and he predicted that "digital television will be about more than pretty pictures." He encouraged broadcasters to "embrace this change. Those who do will lead us into the next century."

The Chairman spoke of a "limited role" for government in the digital era. He said, "The Commission needs to guard against any gatekeeper who might hinder the growth of the digital marketplace. But I also believe that we must ensure that no single competitor is vested with the power to unilaterally dictate the choices that any consumer makes."

Kennard told broadcasters he will be bringing a "common sense approach" to FCC proceedings. As one example, he said that because broadcasters are honest in their applications and filings with the FCC, the FCC will expedite the processing of these applications under a policy of "trust and verify."

A full text of Kennard's speech is available on the FCC's website at www.fcc.gov.

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News Media Contact: Rosemary Kimball or David Fiske (202) 418-0500