Chairman Pai Proposes Incubator Program Requirements

Federal Communications System
Federal Communications System

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is circulating a proposal that would establish the requirements to govern the incubator program that the Commission adopted in 2017 to support the entry of new and diverse voices into the broadcast industry. The program would initially apply to AM/FM full-service broadcast radio station ownership, as radio has traditionally been the most accessible entry point for new entrants and small businesses seeking to enter the broadcasting sector.

The proposal, which the FCC will vote on at its August Open Meeting, outlines a program in which established broadcasters would pair with small aspiring new entrants or struggling broadcast station owners who lack access to capital and operational experience, among other things. The established broadcaster -- the incubator -- would help provide financial and operational support, including training and mentoring, to the new or struggling broadcaster.

Chairman Pai said in a statement, "The FCC is committed to taking action to promote diversity in the broadcast industry. That's why we will be voting at our August meeting to move forward with a new incubator program. This program will encourage new voices, including women and minorities, to enter the broadcast business. In particular, it will help address the significant barriers, including lack of access to capital, that currently make it hard for many to join the broadcast industry."

He continued, "I would like to thank all of the stakeholders, including the FCC's Advisory Committee on Diversity and Digital Empowerment, that shared their recommendations on how this program should be structured. I hope that my colleagues will join me in supporting this important initiative."

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