MEDIA CROSS-OWNERSHIP

Star newspaper guilty of abusing monopoly power

In 1955, the gov­ern­ment con­vict­ed the Kansas City Star (news­pa­per com­pa­ny) with monop­oly charges. The Star had abused their pow­er with the own­er­ship of two news­pa­pers, a TV sta­tion (WDAF TV) and a radio sta­tion (WDAF radio).  They forced adver­tis­ers to buy ads for all 4 prop­er­ties, and also pun­ished adver­tis­ers for uti­liz­ing oth­er media by plac­ing their ads in unfa­vor­able places and times. The Star was guilty of restraint of trade.  Because the abuse of monop­oly pow­er was so tempt­ing, the FCC ruled “cross-own­er­ship” of sev­er­al media forms with­in the same city ille­gal.  

Since that time, high finance has entered the ring.  The “Merg­ers and Acqui­si­tions” lob­by­ists are con­stant­ly urg­ing the FCC to allow for more merg­ers and more short-term prof­its via staff lay­offs.

The FCC is now try­ing to reau­tho­rize cross own­er­ship under the radar of the Christ­mas rush.  This would give Rupert Mur­doch and his financiers unprece­dent­ed pow­er.  …FOX could own the town news­pa­per, two local TV sta­tions and up to eight local radio sta­tions in one city as well as the local inter­net provider. 

We are sup­posed to be break­ing these things into com­pet­ing busi­ness­es not merg­ing the the life out of them.  To let the FCC know your thoughts by email click here to use Freepress.net Or you can phone up these FCC com­mis­sion­ers to let them know you are not in agree­ment with this con­sol­i­da­tion of media pow­er. (please be nice).

Back in 1996 the Gin­grich con­gress want­ed con­sol­i­date TV & news­pa­pers.  Pres­i­dent Clin­ton threat­ened a veto.  He knew that he would not have been pres­i­dent had his home state of Arkansas had cross-own­er­ship between the TV sta­tion and the news­pa­per.   When he ran for gov­er­nor of Arkansas the news­pa­per was against him but the TV sta­tion was not.  Diver­si­ty in own­er­ship is the fuel of a rich democ­ra­cy.  Had their only been one own­er, only one can­di­date would have been cham­pi­oned.

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