The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) officially implemented a new policy on Thursday requiring broadcasters to publicly post the race and gender of their employees, an effort critics warn will discourage merit-based hiring.

Under the new regulations, radio and television broadcasters will be required to submit an annual form, known as Form 395-B, which will track data about employee demographics. The FCC will then review these documents “to assess changes, trends, or progress in the industry.” A similar proposal was scrapped in the 1990s over employee privacy concerns, but Biden administration appointees to the commission successfully revived the idea after securing enough seats. The rule was adopted in a 3-2 vote earlier this month and made public on Thursday when it was submitted to the Federal Register for comment.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican Trump administration appointee, warned that these “race and gender scorecards” are intended to make it easier for activists to pressure broadcasters into putting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) ahead of individual merit.

Learn the benefits of becoming a Valuetainment Member and subscribe today!

“The record makes clear that the FCC is choosing to publish these scorecards for one and only one reason: to ensure that individual businesses are targeted and pressured into making decisions based on race and gender,” Carr wrote in his dissenting opinion.

By Carr’s assessment, this is “no benign disclosure regime.” Instead, the FCC is “caving to the demands of activist groups that have worked for years and across different industries to persuade the federal government to obtain — and most importantly publish — this type of data about individual businesses.”

However, in the majority opinion, the rule’s proponents argue that publishing these “scorecards” will ensure accuracy in regulating the broadcast industry. The majority opinion describes the move as “consistent with a broader shift towards greater openness regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion across both corporate America and government.”

Related: Mark Cuban Defends DEI Hiring, Sparks Legal Trouble with Federal Officials

The new requirements are expected to face challenges from multiple broadcast groups in court. If the order survives the appeals, the first reports are expected to be filed by September.

The full text of the new FCC regulations can be read below:





Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

Add comment