July 11, 2003

Ivonne Cunarro, Executive Director and CEO of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), announced the NAHP's support for legislation introduced last week that aims to protect Spanish-language and other minority media from potential monopolies, like the proposed merger of Univision with Hispanic Broadcasting Corporation. The NAHP announced this support as a part of their greater efforts to prevent the Univision/HBC merger from securing control of up to 80 percent of the Hispanic media market.

"No public hearing has been held on the proposed merger of Univision and HBC despite the grave consequences it would have by creating a monopoly of Spanish language news and entertainment that reach the Hispanic community," said NAHP Director Cunarro. "We support this bill as a part of our greater effort to preserve the diversity of voices in the Hispanic media market in the United States, the principal source of news for the country's 38 million Hispanics.

Introduced on Friday, August 1 by Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Hillary Rodham Clinton, and entitled "The National Minority Media Opportunities Act," the legislation will require a report to Congress on ownership of broadcast stations, as well as require the Federal Communications Commission to conduct public hearings on the effects of mergers in minority language markets. The FCC could cast its final vote on the merger as soon as Friday, August 8.

"We commend Senator Kennedy and Senator Clinton for their efforts to preserve that diversity, not only for the Spanish-language and Hispanic audiences in this country but for all minority language media," said Cunarro. "We must act now to preserve the freedom of expression and diversity of news that are this country's hallmark, and this bill is the first step toward ensuring that the marketplace remains fair, balanced, and thriving."

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