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Comcast-NBC merger assailed

OW Staff | 6/2/2010, 5 p.m.

The National Coalition of African American Owned Media (NCAAOM) will testify at an upcoming Congressional hearing that the proposed Comcast-NBC Universal merger will further shut the door to Blacks looking for more than lip service, when it comes to the issue of media ownership in the television, cable and online media sectors.

The United States House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed $30-billion joint venture for June 7 at 9 a.m., at the California Science Center in Exposition Park.

After the proposed merger, Comcast-NBC will control or have an attributable ownership interest in 44 cable channels, 10 regional sports networks, two broadcast networks, 26 owned-and-operated broadcast television stations, 32 on-line video properties, as well as Universal Studios and Focus Features.

But the controversial deal has recently come under fire for its emphasis on employment and contractor successes at the expense of allowing minorities and women a meaningful ownership stake.

"For too long Comcast has shut the door to African American ownership of channels," says Stanley E. Washington, NCAAOM president and CEO. "The stakes are extremely high and past assurances have only resulted in Black people experiencing apartheid first-hand, when it comes to being true participants in this multi-billion dollar industry."