Charter makes diversity pledge in Time Warner merger deal

Charter Communications says it would commit to appointing more minorities to its board of directors as it looks to regulators to approve its proposed merger with Time Warner Cable.

The St. Louis-based cable company will appoint an African-American director, an Asian-American director and a Hispanic director to its board within two years of the sale closing, it said Friday.

The company also committed to appointing a chief diversity officer and implementing unspecified other measures to improve diversity at the company and in its programming.

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"Charter strives to reflect the great diversity of the communities we serve in all our business practices as a key component of our continued success,” said CEO Tom Rutledge in a statement.

The conditions are outlined in a memorandum of understanding the firm said it had drawn up with civil-rights groups, including the National Urban League, the National Council of La Raza and Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.

The agreement is one of several commitments Charter has made as it hopes for approval from the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department. It has also vowed to live by certain FCC net neutrality rules, even if the courts overturn them, and pledged to not impose data caps on customers for three years.

It is unclear when regulators will weigh in the proposed purchase of Time Warner Cable, although the FCC recently stopped its “shot clock” for the deal to review more information about the deal.

Charter is hoping to dodge the fate of Comcast’s ill-fated attempt to buy Time Warner.