Mark Lloyd


mark-lloyd

 

For the entire Mark Lloyd profile, click here.

 

Selected highlights from the Mark Lloyd profile:

In July 2009 Mark Lloyd was appointed to be Diversity Chief of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)…. In June 2007 Lloyd co-authored a report titled “The Structural Imbalance of Talk Radio,” commissioned jointly by the Center for American Progress and the Free Press. This publication states that because “91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive,” the stations and networks that air such shows are failing to abide by Section 315 of the Communications Act of 1934, which “requires commercial broadcasters to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of issues of public importance.” …

Says Lloyd:

“Although talk radio audiences tend to be more male, middle-aged, and conservative, research by Pew indicates that this audience is not monolithic … It is difficult to argue that the existing audience for talk radio is only interested in hearing one side of public debates, given the diversity of the existing and potential audience.” …

“[T]he market solution,” Lloyd concludes, “has clearly failed to meet audience demand.” …

“Ultimately,” Lloyd maintains, “… increasing ownership diversity, both in terms of the race/ethnicity and gender of owners, as well as the number of independent local owners, will lead to more diverse programming, more choices for listeners, and more owners who are responsive to their local communities and serve the public interest.”

In other words, “diversity” and “localism” go hand-in-hand, and both can be used as pretexts for shifting the political balance of radio programming leftward….

In his 2006 book, Prologue to a Farce: Communications and Democracy in America, Lloyd suggests that private broadcasters should pay an annual licensing fee in an amount equivalent to their total yearly operating costs. That money, in turn, should be redistributed to public broadcasting stations (which supposedly are more in tune with their audiences’ needs), thereby ensuring that the operating budgets of such stations will be just as large as those of their privately owned counterparts…. In short, stations that are successful and profitable would be required to turn over an enormous portion of their earnings to competitors that are failures in the marketplace….

Lloyd views governmental control over the airwaves in the U.S. as a potentially potent “means of social change” because of radio’s capacity, if harnessed properly, to give all Americans “a political voice” and access to “information that they can trust.” By contrast, he views conservative talk radio largely as a source of misinformation. To combat that misinformation, he advocates the abrogation of free speech, as evidenced by this excerpt from Prologue to a Farce:

“It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press…. This freedom is all too often an exaggeration…. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.” …

Lloyd is a great admirer of Venezuela’s Communist President, Hugo Chavez. At a June 10, 2008 National Conference for Media Reform in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Lloyd said:

“In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution. To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela. The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled — worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government – worked to oust him. But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.”

For the entire Mark Lloyd profile, click here.