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.