Nogales: NHMC Negotiating MoU With Charter

Diversity Group Also Seeks Expanded Hispanic Nets Carriage

The head of the National Hispanic Media Coalition said the group is close to striking a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Charter on jobs and other diversity issues and is also talking about expanding carriage of four English-language Hispanic-targeted networks.

Charter wants to merge with Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, and every little diversity bit helps in Washington. Meeting with a variety of diversity groups and finding ways to make their deals more agreeable to them is common practice for companies looking to merge.

The FCC and Justice Department are currently vetting the deal Charter-TWC-Bright House deal, with the FCC focused on the public interest benefits of a merger, not simply whether it lessens competition, which is the DoJ's focus.

NHMC president Alex Nogales told /Multichannel News he was in Washington last week to talk about the Charter deal and "whether it's a good idea for it to acquire Time Warner Cable."

Asked whether he thought it was a ”good idea,” Nogales said the question was "what communities of color were going to get out of it."

"We're talking with them [Charter] about an MoU to safeguard our interests," he said.

Nogales said the MoU had yet to be set, but that they were in agreement on principle, and NHMC was awaiting draft to see if it was something they could sign on to.

He said diversity was more than just jobs and that distribution was also important. The talks surround expanding carriage of four English-language networks, he said, including Robert Rodriguez's El Rey network, NuvoTV, LATV and a fourth he did not identify.

Nogales said they were close to finalizing the MOU, perhaps as early as this week. Charter had no comment, but a source familiar with the MOU talks said they were “ongoing.”