Rainbow Coalition Also Wants Comcast/NBCU To Spend 25% Of Ad Budgets On Minority-Owned Firms

The Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH Coalition wants Comcast to set aside 10% of its basic tier for networks “owned and controlled by people of color.”

The organization also wants both Comcast and NBC Universal to spend 25% of their ad and marketing budgets and the same percentage of “vendor dollars” on minority-owned firms.

“We want to make sure that independently owned and controlled minority cable networks don’t find it harder to gain carriage if this deal happens,” said Jackson in written testimony for the July 8 House Communications Subcommittee field hearing in Chicago on the deal. Jackson did not deliver the testimony at the hearing, according to an observer on site.

Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the civil rights community held out great hope that the emerging cable industry would be reflective of communities of color in programming, ownership and staffing,” he said. “Our community hoped to not only own cable networks but cable franchises as well. But this simply hasn’t happened.”

Those are just a couple of a number of conditions Jackson wants the FCC to impose on any approval of the Comcast/NBCU joint venture. Others include on job training, hiring and promotion, recruitment and mentoring.

Jackson said the deal was perhaps the last, best opportunity to address “critical issues” in global communications, which he called the twin national challenges of “creating jobs and helping to connect every American, especially people of color, to vitally needed news, information and broadband internet services.”

(Excerpt) Read more at multichannel.com