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Discrimination and minority ownership in radio broadcasting

International Journal of the Economics of Business. June 4, 2010

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Minority preferences in the broadcasting industry date to the early 1970s when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) developed programs to encourage minority ownership of radio stations. In this article, one particular justification for minority preferences in radio broadcasting is examined. Specifically, it is evaluated whether or not minority‐owned radio stations experience a revenue penalty simply because they are minority owned. Evidence of such discrimination may support minority preferences in radio broadcasting under the more stringent legal standard for minority preferences established by the Supreme Court decision of Adarand v. Peña. No evidence of discrimination in the radio industry is found, at least discrimination that would be detected by a revenue handicap for minority‐owned stations.