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Should Black Women Invest in Buying Black Owned TV Stations?

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By Daphne R

Did you know that African Americans watch more television than any other race? It’s true, but yet there are no black-owned stations in existence today. There were once several stations owned by Roberts Broadcasting, a St Louis based company, but now the company has lost stations in three cities, according to The Root. Perhaps now would be a good time for black women to enter the market to purchase stations.

Joseph Torres and Derek Turner of Free Press said, “We just experienced a shameful milestone in the history of U.S. media – and barely anyone noticed.”

Free Press reports that there are now zero black-owned and operated full power television stations in the U.S., with the exception of two stations purchased recently by commentator Armstrong Williams. However, Free Press doesn’t count Williams because the two stations he has were actually acquired by Sinclair Broadcasting Group, Inc. and turned over to him. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) records show that the stations are owned by Sinclair and not Williams, although he claims to have been approved for $50 million loan.

Regardless, the thought of only a few black owned television stations is alarming. African American owned stations dropped from 12 in 2009 to 10 in 2011, which represents less than 1 percent of the overall 1,348 full-power television stations location in the U.S.

The three remaining stations that were owned by Roberts Broadcasting were placed into a trust by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Missouri after the company filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Their creditor ION Media Network will be the beneficiary of the trust.

Torres and Turner state that this trend began back in 1990 when the FCC allowed massive consolidation in broadcasting and ensured that it would be nearly impossible for new owners to access public airwaves.

Wouldn’t it be great to see a group black investors pool their resources to purchase not just black owned networks, but black-owned tv stations? It takes more than just ownership, we as black people must support the station’s programming and advertisers as well. Do you think we can do it?

 

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Daphne R is an experienced marketing and communications professional that provides social commentary, self-help, tips, and reports news of events that matter to African Americans.