What ever happened to the News?

(9:00AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

Media Reform Information Center

In 1983, 50 corporations controlled the vast majority of all news media in the U.S.

in 2000, the number had fallen to six. Since then, there have been more mergers and the scope has expanded to include new media like the Internet market. More than 1 in 4 Internet users in the U.S. now log in with AOL Time-Warner, the world’s largest media corporation. Nowadays we get our news from somewhere like https://flipboard.com/topic/politics as well as other sources of online news.

In 2004, Bagdikian’s revised and expanded book, The New Media Monopoly, shows that only 5 huge corporations — Time Warner, Disney, Murdoch’s News Corporation, Bertelsmann of Germany, and Viacom (formerly CBS) — now control most of the media industry in the U.S. General Electric’s NBC is a close sixth.



and … What ever happened to Public Service anyways?

It used to be that the Media, HAD TO air Public Service programming,

just to keep their Multi-Billion Dollar monopolies (ie. their Channel Frequency)

And part of the Public Service, USED TO include real Debate, real News, and Community building discussions … oh well, you never appreciate what you had until its gone!

Media Consolidation on NOW

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was created in 1934 with jurisdiction over radio, interstate telephone communication, and later television. But the FCC has always struggled with a fundamental lack of clarity about its proper functions. In its mission to serve the public interest, should the FCC crack down on indecency on the airwaves? Should it use its power to rescind the licenses of wayward stations?

Get background information on some of the FCC’s more recent decisions below:

   * The Fairness Doctrine

   * Media Regulation Timeline

   * Details of FCC Rule Changes

   * Local and National Media Ownership


Source: PBS Now

Media Regulation Timeline


Local Radio Ownership Rule, National TV Ownership Rule enacted. A broadcaster cannot own television stations that reach more than 35% of the nation’s homes.


Dual Television Network Rule enacted, prohibiting a major network from buying another major network.


Local TV Multiple Ownership Rule enacted, prohibiting a broadcaster from owning more than one television station in the same market, unless there are at least eight stations in the market.

1981    [Reagan Presidency]

Reagan Administration deregulation under the leadership of FCC Chairman Mark Fowler. Deregulatory moves, some made by Congress, others by the FCC included extending television licenses to five years from three in 1981. The number of television stations any single entity could own grew from seven in 1981 to 12 in 1985.

1985    [Reagan Presidency]

Guidelines for minimal amounts of non-entertainment programming are abolished. FCC guidelines on how much advertising can be carried per hour are eliminated.

1987    [Reagan Presidency]

“Fairness Doctrine” eliminated. At its founding the FCC viewed the stations to which it granted licenses as “public trustee” – and required that they made every reasonable attempt to cover contrasting points of views.

1996    [Clinton Presidency]

President Clinton signs the Telecommunications Act of 1996. It is generally regarded as the most important legislation regulating media ownership in over a decade. The radio industry experiences unprecedented consolidation after the 40-station ownership cap is lifted.


The result?

Top Telecommunications, Media and Technology Companies


Did Bill Clinton have any idea of what would be the result the Media Merger Consolidation era he helped to unleashed?

It’s not clear:

Bill Clinton’s Take On Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal


The Fallout From the Telecommunications Act of 1996

  * Lifted the limit on how many radio stations one company could own. The cap had been set at 40 stations. It made possible the creation of radio giants like Clear Channel, with more than 1,200 stations, and led to a substantial drop in the number of minority station owners, homogenization of play lists, and less local news.

  * Lifted from 12 the number of local TV stations any one corporation could own, and expanded the limit on audience reach. One company had been allowed to own stations that reached up to a quarter of U.S. TV households. The Act raised that national cap to 35 percent. These changes spurred huge media mergers and greatly increased media concentration. Together, just five companies – Viacom, the parent of CBS, Disney, owner of ABC, News Corp, NBC and AOL, owner of Time Warner, now control 75 percent of all prime-time viewing.


  * The Act gave broadcasters, for free, valuable digital TV licenses that could have brought in up to $70 billion to the federal treasury if they had been auctioned off. Broadcasters, who claimed they deserved these free licenses because they serve the public, have largely ignored their public interest obligations, failing to provide substantive local news and public affairs reporting and coverage of congressional, local and state elections.

  * The Act reduced broadcasters’ accountability to the public by extending the term of a broadcast license from five to eight years, and made it more difficult for citizens to challenge those license renewals.


The result?

Who owns the Media?

Updated 2008 TV Revenues

Media Consolidation Matters

Al Gore has also spoken out against this “wild west” atmosphere for evermore Media Consolidation.  (As IF, THAT former V.P. would ever get any significant Air Time — as if!)

Gore Lashes Out at Media Consolidation

by Jill Lawless

August 28, 2006

“Democracy is under attack,” Gore told an audience at the Edinburgh International Television Festival. “Democracy as a system for self-governance is facing more serious challenges now than it has faced for a long time.

Democracy is a conversation, and the most important role of the media is to facilitate that conversation of democracy. Now the conversation is more controlled, it is more centralized.”

In the United States “the only thing that matters in American politics now is having enough money to put 30-second commercials on the air often enough to convince the voters to elect you or re-elect you,” he said. “The person who has the most money to run the most ads usually wins.”


SO What ever happened to the News? …

It was pre-empted by the all-knowing Entertainment Division(s),

… and their many, many Sponsors!

Now that’s Entertainment!


Skip to comment form

    • jamess on June 27, 2009 at 05:18

    for reversing the “grand consolidation” theory!

  1. we would all be zombies by now.  

    • Inky99 on June 27, 2009 at 06:41

    and I’m going to show it to people who still don’t get it.

    Great job!

    What’s funny about the Michael Jackson thing is that the “mainstream” idiots were scooped by the gossip pages.  TMZ was the first to report he was actually dead, and The Sun, in the UK, was the first to report about the Demerol.

    You can’t even trust the Mouthpiece Media to be good with the gossip.  

    They have completely failed.  

  2. too much.


    although – I should fess up that I might just have a bad habit – ya see, I started REALLY using it when I was 20 in 1980 when RayGun got elected.

    I was a grown up on welfare drowding in student loan debt poli sci major drop out, working for 4 bucks an hour as a cook.

    WTF did I know then ??


Comments have been disabled.