New Approaches to Minority Media Ownership
July 27-28, 1998
Kellogg Conference Center
Columbia University

Sponsored by the Columbia Institute for Tele-Information.

Summary Day 1 Program Day 2 Program

About the Conference

Past Initiatives to increasing minority media ownership have been governmental in nature, including the FCC's minority ownership tax certificate program and PCS license preferences. Constitutional and political challenges to such government sponsored programs have put their future in question. The alternative approach toward greater diversity of ownership includes market-based mechanisms.

Rather than engaging in a policy debate, this conference will provide an economic review of minority ownership programs, as well as examine other aspects of minority ownership.

Issues to be discussed on Day 1 will include: the minority tax certificate program (the FCC program, repealed in 1995, is up for review this year); the nexus between ownership and diversity; the impact of the repeal of minority preferences in spectrum auctions; and minority ownership in the new media and Internet sector.

Day 2 will examine various market-based approaches to develop minority ownership in the media sector, including venture capital, mutual funds, investor cooperatives, debt financing, and micro-credits.

Day 1 Program (July 27):

  • 9:00-9:15am - Introductory Remarks
  • 9:15-10:45am - Session I -- The value of the FCC's tax certificate program
    • The economic value of sale under the tax certificate program.
    • How was the tax certificate program utilized by its recipients? Were revenues deferred or reinvested?
    • Was new technology deployed by businesses that were recipients of the tax certificate?
    • Were new businesses formed as a result of the tax certificate? policy?

  • Author : Mark Lloyd and Kofi Ofori, Civil Rights Forum
        The Value of the Tax Certificate Policy
  • Discussants :
    • Jonathon Emord, Emord and Associates
    • JD Foster, The Tax Foundation
    • Erwin Krasnow, Verner, Liipfert, Berhard, and McPherson
    • William Gentry, Columbia Business School
    • Carl Marrs, Cook Inlet Region
    • Tatia Williams, NTIA
  • 11:00-12:30pm - Session II -- The Nexus between Ownership and Diversity
    • The FCC's diversity policy in context.
    • The economics of minority programming.
    • Prior studies addressing the nexus between ownership and diversity.
    • New data on the nexus.

  • Author :
  • Discussants :
    • Patricia Diaz Dennis, SBC
    • David Honig, Minority Media and Telecommucnications Council
    • Catherine Sandoval, Federal Communications Commision
    • Mark Spitzer, UC Davis
  • 2:00-3:30pm - Session III -- Minorities and the Internet: minority ownership issues on the Internet.
    • Entry barriers for Internet ventures.
    • Compare Internet minority entrepreneurialism in other media sectors.
    • Minority ventures on the Internet.

  • Author :
  • Discussants :
    • Michael Botein, New York Law School
    • Eric De Fontenay, Tag It
    • Max Huang, Chinese Cyber City*
    • Andrew Schwartzman, Media Access Project
  • 3:45-5:15pm - Session IV -- Impact of the elimination of minority preferences on spectrum auction for PCS licenses
    • How is financing for the minority PCS ventures impacted by the loss of preferences? What is the difference in the cost of capital?
    • Do minority preferences bring services to the market sooner? Later? If so, what is the value of the time difference?

  • Author :
    • Babbet Boliek and Thomas Hazlett, Universtiy of California at Davis
    • Simon Wilkie, Professor California Institute of Technology
  • Discussants :
    • Anthony Chase, Chase Telecommunications Inc.
    • Tom Hazlett, University of California at Davis
    • S. Jenell Trigg, Asst. Chief Telecom, Office of Advocacy, US Small Business Administration
    • Curis White Esq., Partner, Allied Communications Group*
  • 5:15pm - Cocktails and Close

    Day 2 Program (July 28):

  • 8:30-8:45am - Introductory Remarks
  • 8:45-10:15am - Session I. Venture capital funding for minority media ownership
    • Examples and models.
    • Do established methods of evaluation apply to minority media ventures?
    • Constraints and problems.

  • Author : Vance Fried, Oklahoma State University
  • Discussants :
    • Bernadine A. Santistevan, GE Venture Capital
    • Herbert S. Wilkins Sr., Syncom
  • 10:30-12:00pm - Session II. Mutual and pension funds investment in minority owned media
    • Nature of investment by mutual funds in minority media.
    • Non-economic rationales for investment.
    • How can minority owned enterprises be made more attractive to mutual fund managers and mutual fund investors?
    • Ownership diversity and fund diversification strategies.
    • Marketing approaches for a mutual fund with minority media investments.
  • Author :
  • Discussants :
    • Phoebus Dhrymes, Columbia University
    • Thomas Hazlett, University of California at Davis
  • 1:15-2:45pm - Session III. Cooperative models of investment pooling for minority media ownership.
    • Examples and models.
    • Criteria in reviewing prospective investments, eg. required returns.
    • What role should the cooperative partners have in selecting investments?
    • A blueprint for organization and rights of equity cooperatives.
    • Problems and opportunities.

  • Author :
  • Discussants :
    • Carl Marrs, Cook Inlet Region
  • 3:00-4:30pm - Session IV. Debt financing for minority media ownership
    • Examples and models.
    • The role of the banking sector.
    • How does government regulation of the banking industry impact the funding of minority media owned enterprises.
    • Microfinance for communications developement.
      • Foundations and non-profit financing.
      • Incubator programs.
    • Problems and opportunities.

  • Author :
    • Sally Stewart, Communications for Change
    • Michaela Walsh, Women's World Banking
  • Discussants :
    • Hank Kush, Summit Bank
    • Amador Bustos, Z- Spanish Media Corp
  • 4:30-6:30pm - Examination of Existing Models--round table
    • Approaches of established models (e.g., Calvert Group, Franklin Trust).
    • Comparison of the effectiveness of not-for profit or governmental approaches to commercial models.

  • Moderator :
    • Eli Noam, Columbia University
  • Panelists :
    • Phoebus Dhymes, Columbia University
    • John Oxendine, Broadcast Capital Funds, Inc.
    • S. Jenell Trigg, Esq., Office of Advocacy, SBA
  • Program Committee:
    • Professor Eli M. Noam Columbia Institute for Tele-Information, Columbia University
    • Professor Allen Hammond, Santa Clara University
    • L. Caterina Alvarez, Columbia Institute for Tele-Information