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Federal Communications Commission
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Washington, D.C. 20554
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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 14, 1998

Statement from Chairman William E. Kennard on the D.C. Circuit opinion on the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod v. FCC

Our nation is diminished by today's D.C. Circuit opinion in Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod v. FCC. In this opinion, a panel of the D.C. Circuit held unconstitutional the FCC's rules requiring broadcasters to cast a wide net in their recruitment efforts.

I am confident that our rules are constitutional and that they embody the best American principles of fostering opportunity. We are reviewing the D.C. Circuit's decision and our options for judicial appeal.

The unfortunate reality in our nation today is that race and gender still matter. We all benefit when broadcasting, our nation's most influential medium, reflects the rich cultural diversity of our country. Over the last several decades, the broadcast industry and the FCC have worked in partnership to encourage opportunity in the broadcast industry. Our rules have opened doors for minorities and women and have led to more minorities and women in front of and behind the television camera and inside and outside of the radio booth.

In 1971, three years after the FCC's EEO rules began, women constituted only 23.3% of full-time broadcast employees, and minorities constituted only 9.1%. Last year women constituted 40.8% of broadcast employees and minorities constituted 19.9%.

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Media Contact: Liz Rose or David Fiske (202) 418-0500