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Steven Roberts Sr. appointed to FCC council

St. Louis business owner Steven C. Roberts Sr. is taking on a new role as a member of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Communications Equity and Diversity Council.

Roberts, who founded the Roberts Broadcasting Company in 1989 and has since expanded into other industries, was appointed to the position by FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel. 

The council is tasked with evaluating ways to increase diversity and accelerate small businesses into the communications field. The group will also tackle equitable broadband rollout and recommendations to strengthen existing infrastructure. 

“I am honored to have been chosen for my experience in the cellular telephone, television, and radio industry,” Roberts said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to help improve racial and gender diversity throughout the broadcast and digital communications industries, including the expansion of broadband service throughout the United States.”

Roberts will evaluate ways to use federal COVID-19 relief funds to aid underserved and minority communities alongside his fellow council members. Members will hold three public meetings and numerous working groups. A final report on its findings is due in 2023. 

“Our work will help to break down barriers and bring new resources and opportunity to minority and women-owned businesses,” Roberts said. 

Roberts Broadcasting Company became the largest minority-owned broadcasting company, eventually ballooning to 15 television networks and one radio station. 

The Roberts Company is now composed of businesses in multiple industries, including the Roberts Hotel Group, Roberts Farms, and Roberts Real Estate Development. Roberts has also served as a board member for several businesses, nonprofits, and colleges. 

Outside of his business ventures, Roberts is a former St. Louis alderman who serves as chief of staff to St. Louis Sheriff Vernon Betts. His son, Sen. Steven Roberts, represents the St. Louis area in the statehouse.