Groups push forward with digital TV transition efforts

WASHINGTON: Despite the new Obama administration's support for a delay in the transition to digital broadcasting, some groups are pushing forward with educating communities about the scheduled February 17 switch.

WASHINGTON: Despite the new Obama administration's support for a delay in the transition to digital broadcasting, some groups are pushing forward with educating communities about the scheduled February 17 switch.

The nonprofit Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund (LCCREF) and New America Media, a collective of about 2,000 ethnic news organizations, launched a radio PSA effort this month to educate minority, low-income, and elderly people about the transition.

The groups conceived the push because studies show that about 13% of black and Hispanic households are using analog TV and are not ready for the transition, said Michael Frisby, president of Frisby & Associates, the firm hired last month to produce the PSAs. Also, households earning less than $25,000 per year are also less likely to be prepared for the transition, he added.

“The... reason for it is the extensive data showing that low-income and communities of color are not ready for the... conversion,” he said. “The goals of the PSA are two-fold: one is to raise awareness in these communities that you have to do something; and the second is to give them the contact info of where they can go to get their converter boxes.”

The PSA effort, which features two 30-second, English-language radio commercials and one 60-second ad in Spanish, will be aired across the US, but it has a specific focus on seven markets where there are a high percentage of affected groups. These include Atlanta, Detroit, and San Antonio.

Frisby & Associates is also pitching representatives from the two organizations as experts to radio and TV programs, Frisby said.

Additionally, it is pitching Op-Ed columns by Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), to print outlets written in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Arabic, among others, said Kay Leventhal, marketing program director at New America Media. The LCCREF is the education and marketing wing of the LCCR.

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