MMTC Celebrates 25 Years!

by David Honig on December 18, 2011

Dear Friends:

I hope this note finds you well on this, MMTC’s 25th Birthday – December 18, 2011.

On December 17, 1986, the FCC, with no notice, announced a suspension of two of its (then) three minority broadcast ownership policies. The vote was unanimous, which was even more of a wake-up call for those of us who’d fought to develop and sustain those policies since 1973. We had no idea that advancing minority ownership was even controversial to some.

So the next day, eight media and telecom activists, scholars and entrepreneurs – Bill Kennard, Erwin Krasnow, Everett Parker, Henry Rivera, Ragan Henry, Al Hammond, George Gerbner and yours truly – founded MMTC to get the policies back. In 1989, we did. Then we lost them again, and in 1995 we also lost the third and most far-reaching minority ownership policy, the tax certificate.

Ever since, we’ve tried to help the FCC close the digital divide and find its voice as a champion of diversity and equal opportunity.

Today MMTC is a Washington institution – with a staff of 10, including seven attorneys and fellows, a leading media brokerage that’s been responsible for one-third of the stations minorities have bought since 1997, five broadcast stations and several broadcast trainees, the highly respected weblog broadbandandsocialjustice.org, and two major telecom policy conferences each year. Perhaps our greatest achievement is that since 1994, we’ve trained 52 fellows to practice telecom law before the FCC.

Although we’ve accomplished so much, we all understand that there is still much to be done.

On January 1, a new team will begin to lead MMTC as we enter our second generation of service. The Board has elected Julia Johnson, former Chair of the Florida Public Service Commission, as MMTC’s Chair. Former FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate will become Vice Chair; Ronald Johnson, President of Ronson Network Services, will become Treasurer, and Maurita Coley, MMTC’s Vice Chair, will join me on the staff as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Henry Rivera will become Chair Emeritus and – fortunately! – Henry will continue to serve on the Board and the Executive Committee along with Vice Chair Erwin Krasnow and Board Secretary Ari Fitzgerald. Our thanks and the deepest appreciation goes out to Henry for his 25 years of dedicated and extraordinarily effective volunteer service.

MMTC’s new team will need all the help they can get to enable MMTC to grow and fulfill its mission.

So I’m asking that each of you, as the year concludes, become a supporter of MMTC or an individual or corporate member. In this way you can invest in the achievement of the number one goal we all share – universal first class digital citizenship.

And finally let me say thank you – for all of your support and encouragement over the past 25 years.

Warm regards,

David Honig
President and Executive Director
Minority Media and Telecommunications Council

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  • Jim

    Happy Birthday, MMTC! 25 years of the work you’ve done equals an eternity of difference.

  • Lisa

    Happy Birthday, MMTC! Thank you for your work!

  • Tee-Kay

    Congrats on another milestone!

  • JCraigDC

    Happy Birthday MMTC!

  • Lorrie

    All the best MMTC

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