By Hilary Shelton, NAACP Washington bureau director and senior vice president for advocacy - 01/19/11 12:29 AM EST
Working together with major civil rights organizations in the context of this joint venture, Comcast/NBCU has laid out a plan and commitment to create 10 new independent cable networks (eight of which will primarily serve or be owned by minorities), as well as a $20 million venture to help support new minority media and technology entrepreneurs, the first of its kind from the private sector. The companies also agreed to a host of groundbreaking diversity commitments in employment, supplier relationships, community partnerships and programming. By creating a new Joint Diversity Council that will seek ongoing advice from the leading civil rights organizations on implementing these ideas, these companies are demonstrating an exciting rare and innovative leadership.
At the end of the day, what is important is that Comcast and NBCU together have demonstrated a strong commitment to racial, ethnic and gender diversity and independent programming. We think this marriage will result in more content for more consumers across more platforms, and will make a great difference for the cause of diversity in the media industry as well as throughout our great nation.