New FCC Officer No Friend of Conservative Talk Radio

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Staff Writer

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has named a communications attorney who once railed against conservative and Christian talk radio as its new “Chief Diversity Officer.” is reporting that the FCC has named Mark Lloyd, a former Senior Fellow at the George Soros-backed Center for American Progress (CAP) as its new Chief Diversity Officer.

Lloyd is the author of a June 2007 report entitled, “The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio” in which he suggests ways other than the Fairness Doctrine to shut down conservative talk radio:

• Restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.

• Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing.

• Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.

These last two suggestions are similar to what is known as “localism,” an FCC regulatory requirement that radio stations must meet to get and keep their broadcast licenses. The ambiguous term can be used to enforce anything from airing public service announcements to shutting down political talk to which the enforcer does not subscribe.

In a follow-up to another CAP report entitled “Forget the Fairness Doctrine,” Lloyd instructed liberal activists to use the “localism” requirement to harass conservative stations by filing complaints with the FCC. The FCC would then levy fines against these stations or even shut them down.

Therefore, there is no need for the mis-named “Fairness” Doctrine, Lloyd says, obviously endorsing the levying of costly fines and other means to force conservative talk radio off the air.

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