Deborah Taylor Tate

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Deborah Taylor Tate, of Tennessee, was nominated November 9, 2005, by President George W. Bush to be a Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission for the remainder of a five-year term expiring June 30, 2007, vice Michael K. Powell, who resigned. [1]

Tate left the FCC in January 2009. Later that month, she joined the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council's board of directors. [1]


Tate previously served as Director of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority. "In 2003, she was appointed to the Federal Communications Commission's Federal-State Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services. Prior to this, she served as Director of the State and Local Policy Center at Vanderbilt University. Earlier in her career, Ms. Tate served as an Assistant to Governor Don Sundquist and Assistant Legal Counsel to Governor Lamar Alexander. Ms. Tate received her bachelor's degree and JD from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville." [2]

FCC Priorities: Kids and diversity

Tate "has been labeled the kids commissioner for her emphasis on issues like childhood obesity," reported Broadcasting & Cable, but during a February 2007 lunch address to the Media Institute, she "said that one of her goals was to push the FCC, Congress, and industry to do more to encourage media diversity." [3]

Tate went on to describe ways in which the FCC could encourage more diversity -- including women and people of color -- among media owners. The FCC could "allow TV stations to lease digital spectrum to small and minority-owned entities, who could program the channels and receive must-carry rights on cable, as well as public interest obligations," she said. The agency could also "re-establish the tax certificate program that gave companies a tax break for selling to minorities. ... A bill to do just that, H.R. 600, was introduced in January by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.)." Lastly, Tate "said she supported modifying the FCC rules on attributable investments to allow minorities to raise more money." [4]

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