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Congresswoman Clarke Urges F.C.C. to Support Diversity on Television

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has urged the Federal Communications Commission to consider its responsibility to support diversity on our television networks in reviewing the proposed sale of three FOX-TV affiliates to the Marshall Broadcast Group of Los Angeles, which has a record of hiring people of color and producing shows that represent the broad diversity of our nation.

The letter, sent to F.C.C. Chairman Tom Wheeler by Congresswoman Clarke and eleven of her colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus, explained that only a small number of the 1,400 full-power commercial television station in the United States are owned by African-Americans. As a result, our television shows – transmitted at airwave frequencies that are owned by the public – have often failed to represent the diversity of the American people.

“The people have ownership of our airwaves – private companies are only licensed to broadcast on these airwaves. These companies should, therefore, understand their responsibility to the public as a whole to develop programs  that represent our people in all of their diversity,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “I urge the Federal Communications Commission to consider the enormous disparity that exists in the ownership of television networks, a disparity that has resulted in a lack of diversity in the programs we watch.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.