During its Eighth Annual Access to Capital Conference in Washington, DC, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council announced the formation of MMTC Broadcasting LLC. The event, host to 300 African American and Latino broadcasters, publishers, entrepreneurs, venture capital and private equity fund managers, was the perfect venue for the announcement of this new diversity initiative.
On the heels of a donation by Clear Channel of six radio stations from across the country, MMTC will begin its transition from media and telecom advocate to broadcast ownership and incubation, with footprints in N. Augusta, Georgia (WYNF-AM), Laurel, Mississippi (WHJA-AM), Fort Smith, Arkansas (KYHN-AM), Newton, New Jersey (WTOC-AM), Wabasha, Minnesota (KMFX-AM) and Minneapolis, Minnesota (KFXN-AM).
This new project – the MMTC-Clear Channel Diversity Initiative – is designed to enable minority and women broadcast managers to transition into positions of entrepreneurship and broadcast ownership. And it positions MMTC to take its advocacy and support of minority media and telecom interests to the next level.
This new Diversity Initiative in partnership with Clear Channel is MMTC’s way of creating new opportunity for women and people of color in a market where minority media ownership has only continued to dwindle over time. With this initiative, MMTC hopes to enable new opportunities for women and minorities to leverage traditional media outlets as a bridge toward increased media ownership.
Since its inception in 1986, MMTC has been highly regarded by members of the civil rights community as the premier advocacy organization seeking social justice for minorities and women in the media and telecommunications sectors. In addition to the strong stances it has taken on communications issues before Congress, several White House Administrations and the Federal Communications Commission, MMTC has trained more than 50 women and minority attorneys in the art of social advocacy, leveraging the power of mass media communications as a means of promoting business growth and sustainability, increased diversity in media ownership, enhanced community engagement and new levels of political discourse. In recent years, it has used the imprint of MMTC Media Brokers, the only nonprofit and only minority-owned full service media brokerage in the United States, as a means of promoting minority media entrepreneurship and ownership. Since 1997, MMTC Media Brokers has participated in the sale of $1.7 billion of radio and television stations to minorities.
MMTC has been the nation’s principal advocate for minorities and women in media, telecom and broadband. For example, in June MMTC urged the FCC to immediately suspend EEO enforcement for three months and, during that period of suspension, revitalize and strengthen the program and reaffirm the agency’s commitment to ensuring opportunities for minorities and women in broadcasting. MMTC also recently served as counsel to 16 other national civil rights and social justice organizations during the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding, and asked the Commission to reject one of the six proposed “net neutrality” Internet regulations that could unfairly apportion the cost of Internet subscription and use on low-income and poor people, and preclude Internet service providers from incubating minority-owned digital entrepreneurs.
In its new incubator role, MMTC will be able to not only advocate for the interests of minorities and women in the media, but will now be in a position to truly change the negative conditions that have cast a shadow on minority media in years past.