Washington, D.C. – More than a dozen minority broadcasters sent a letter today urging U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to provide financial assistance to this hard-hit industry to help weather the current economic and credit crisis. Key House leaders wrote to Secretary Geithner last month to urge him to pay attention to the minority broadcasting industry, which has had difficulties continuing to access the capital markets.
"The recession and current credit crisis are having disastrous impacts in all economic sectors, but minority-owned broadcasters are close to becoming an extinct species," the minority broadcasters stated in their letter to Geithner. "It is particularly concerning that the percentage of minority ownership in the broadcast industry is currently in the low single digits… Financial foreclosure will roll back decades of work by the federal government to encourage more minority voices in the broadcasting industry."
In June, those same House of Representative members urged the Treasury department to take actions to support minority broadcasting with Enactment of an investment facility similar to the Auto Supplier Support Program to help restore credit flows to the broadcast sector; and consideration to temporary bridge financing or government-backed loans (with warrants) until the economy improves.
"Ironically, the loss of automobile advertising revenues, a substantial source of revenue for broadcast stations, is also weighing heavily on our businesses," the letter said.
"It would be unconscionable to have financial institutions that have accepted billions of federal government assistance to foreclose on these vital American voices."